Horatio Robinson Storer, M.D. (1830-1922)

This website provides information about Dr. Storer including his extensive writings and his efforts starting American Gynecology and the Physicians' Crusade Against Abortion.

Horatio Storer's Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston

 

Journal of the Gynaecology Society of Boston.

 

Storer started the Gynaecology Society of Boston in January 22, 1869. Six months later the Society began publishing the Journal of the Gynaecology Society of Boston. It was published in 7 volumes from 1869 to 1872. Storer’s illness ended publication.

 

All volumes are available on Google Books. They refer to them as Transactions of the Gynaecological Society of Boston

Transactions of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Volume 1

 http://books.google.com/books?id=zu1YAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA4&lpg=PA4&dq=%22With+cliques+or+%22rings%22+they+will+have+nothing+to+do.%22&source=bl&ots=T-34KZ-nCM&sig=aG1Tc3IsdLOiAqofLTBk_5Qu_UI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=hbvsT5aFFo6E8ATyt821BQ&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22With%20cliques%20or%20%22rings%22%20they%20will%20have%20nothing%20to%20do.%22&f=false

 Transactions of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Volume 2

http://books.google.com/books?id=Du5YAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA201&lpg=PA201&dq=%22He+was+satisfied+that+a+mixture+of+chloroform+with+sulphuric+ether%22&source=bl&ots=70-jnUmsyR&sig=8XDNQKMgwD3zNQha99-mpRL5b0I&hl=en&sa=X&ei=9rzsT_XZGY2c8gTYwOTRBQ&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22He%20was%20satisfied%20that%20a%20mixture%20of%20chloroform%20with%20sulphuric%20ether%22&f=false

 Transactions of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Volume 3

http://books.google.com/books?id=Qe5YAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA25&lpg=PA25&dq=%22Exhaustion+was+effected+by+a+syringe%22&source=bl&ots=BY_AurzU6a&sig=F4TPZ4S6Lmvu1JYukdFy2vIzxe4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=L77sT7D4C46g8gS3xJzSBQ&ved=0CDkQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=%22Exhaustion%20was%20effected%20by%20a%20syringe%22&f=false

Transactions of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Volume 4

http://books.google.com/books?id=i-5YAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA38&lpg=PA38&dq=%22commencement+of+another+Christian+as+well+as+secular+year.%22&source=bl&ots=c9A9GpLIV1&sig=8T8-qVqH6j1EOWyjWjWCbAII6gw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=7MfsT9bXK4yO8wSI5PXYBQ&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22commencement%20of%20another%20Christian%20as%20well%20as%20secular%20year.%22&f=false

Transactions of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Volume 5

http://books.google.com/books?id=0e5YAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA151&lpg=PA151&dq=%22had+just+been+read+a+most+valuable+contribution+to+practical+gynaecology+and+medical+jurisprudence%22&source=bl&ots=nywNDBG063&sig=whKJC0IYv0LtqK_4nKTlI09YC9I&hl=en&sa=X&ei=78jsT8_HIYrm9ATl7pz-BQ&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22had%20just%20been%20read%20a%20most%20valuable%20contribution%20to%20practical%20gynaecology%20and%20medical%20jurisprudence%22&f=false

 

Transactions of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Volume 6

http://books.google.com/books?id=HO9YAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA85&lpg=PA85&dq=%22and+for+several+months+had+an+intra-uterine+application+of+the+acid%22&source=bl&ots=w7u00syZd_&sig=ZzjLqrcLmW7E8nynJx-BxhU8Zc0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=x8nsT7n7EoKk8ATjpKn8BQ&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22and%20for%20several%20months%20had%20an%20intra-uterine%20application%20of%20the%20acid%22&f=false

 

Transactions of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Volume 7

http://books.google.com/books?id=g-9YAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA80&lpg=PA80&dq=%22affords+us+great+pleasure+to+announce+the+progressing+convalescence+of+our+colleague%22&source=bl&ots=sYugSsASNS&sig=wzcgL5C0v5KzJngb3qUnNRTPUkE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fMrsT7jRIIbe9ATFmtXJBQ&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22affords%20us%20great%20pleasure%20to%20announce%20the%20progressing%20convalescence%20of%20our%20colleague%22&f=false

 

The following are excerpts from the Proceedings and Editorial Notes with additional notes in bold. These have relevance to American Gynecology and the Physicians’ Crusade Against Abortion.

 

 

SALUTATORY

By the Editors.

      Till within a very short time the workers in Uterine Medicine and Surgery have been few and far between in New England, scarce a practitioner having dared to claim for these branches more than an ordinary interest.  Now, there is no department of professional science, not even that of ophthalmology, which has so many devotees, general practitioners though most them necessarily continue: and while to other sections of the country there must be yielded a great predominance so far as individual reputations are concerned, it has remained to New England to establish the first active association of gynaecologists in existence.

      Under these circumstances, it has been decided by the Society to itself undertake the publication of its transactions, and at the same time to take advantage of the opportunity thus afforded to call the attention of the profession to matters of collateral interest. [!]

      The importance of the diseases of women is as yet hardly recognized at our medical colleges; at our hospitals they are but seldom treated, and are not always diagnosticated.  There still exists in New England, as in many places elsewhere, that measure of despotism, miscalled conservative, whereby the many are overridden by the semblance of a transmitted authority.  To the progress of gynaecology, as of other branches of medical science, this has proved a hindrance.  It will be one of the duties of the editors to assist in breaking it down. [!]  With cliques or "rings" they will have nothing to do.  The pages of the Journal will be open for the freest(sic) discussion, provided only that it is conducted in a courteous and scientific spirit.

      When a second school, more alive to the wants of the age,--a Woman's Hospital, in the fullest sense a charity,--a free profession, in which the degree of every first-class medical college is recognized to be as respectable as that of any other,--and a due appreciation of the diseases of women,--exist in the city which ought long ago to have been the centre of American Medicine, then perhaps will their pens grow weary and their labors end.  W.L./H.R.S./G.H.B.

 

From "Salutatory by the Publisher" Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, 1(1) July, 1869, p 5-11.

      "The second of the editors, Dr. Storer, is to many a riddle, and is accordingly variously judged by them, as scientific and expert, an enthusiast, an empiric, egotist, fool.  Resembling Dr. Lewis in his vivacity, ardor, and general professional attainments, he has differed from them, in that from the moment of his graduation [1853--Is this why he went to Edinburgh.  Did he study with gynecologists in Paris and London?] he has steadily kept a single object in view, namely, the building up in New England of a belief in and respect for the diseases of women.

      This self-consecration was at first misunderstood.  His early professional career was considered aggressive, and attempts were long made by those most interested in retaining mastery of the field [who? Channing? Parks?], to eliminate from it the obnoxious competitor; the attacks made upon Dr. S. having at times been of the most unwarrantable and disgraceful character.  They but served, however, to strengthen his purpose, and, as our business gives us excellent opportunities for knowing, the tide of professional sentiment long ago turned, and is now setting very strongly in his favor.

      Compelled eight years since [1861], by ill health [what was the illness?  There are no 1860, 1861, or 1862 publications.], to exchange the general practice, in which he had been laboring an equal period, for the comparative leisure and comfort of a specialty, he was dared [by whom?] to do this, and was assured [by whom?] that the profession in New England would never tolerate in its ranks an avowed gynaecologist.  The insult referred to accomplished what no money could have done,--it kept him at home.  Accepting the challenge so defiantly made [by whom?], refusing a kindly and attractive invitation [by whom?] to remove to New York,--the city of all others in this country that he thinks worth living and working in, and of all others the most to be proud of its medical men,--he has remained, engaged in what from that moment had been to him a missionary work.  Unmindful of personal advancement, careless of the abuse that has so unsparingly been heaped upon him, accepting seeming injury as ultimate gain, he has kept ever before him the development of what were to him great and living truths.

      Still in the prime of life, Dr. S. is an indefatigable worker; and though he has always had a large and lucrative practice, he has yet found time to contribute much to the literature of the profession.  A catalogue of a portion only of his publications, that was compiled by Messrs. Lee & Shepard, comprises the titles of over forty articles.  From the remarkable opportunities of observation enjoyed by Dr. S., even while a very young man, and from the reputation he has already achieved,--for outside of a circle ten miles distant from Boston he has a host of professional friends,--we anticipate much advantage to the Journal from his connection with it.

      Dr. Storer is now in his fortieth year, being the eldest son of a distinguished practitioner and medical teacher.  Born in Boston, February 27th, 1830, he was a member of the Harvard Class of 1850; graduated in medicine in 1853, and in law in 1868, having studied the latter science that he might the more worthily lecture upon medical jurisprudence, which chair, as well as that of obstetrics, he held for several years in the Berkshire Medical College.  He was a pupil of Agassiz, and Brown-Se'quard, and for a year[first time no exaggeration on this, in fact under], after studying upon the Continent [How about London?], he enjoyed the closest relations, as a private student, with Sir James Simpson, of Edinburgh, whose works he edited, while still with him, in conjunction with Dr. Priestley, now professor at King's College in London.  So far as we can ascertain, Dr. S. has been the first physician in America to give a complete collegiate course, of sixty lectures, upon the diseases of women as distinct from midwifery, and the first to impart systematic instruction upon the subject to classes of physicians.  He was prize essayist and secretary of the American Medical Association in 1865, and vice president in 1868.  A member of the State Commission on Lunacy in 1863, and among the incorporators of the Massachusetts Infant Asylum, for foundlings, he has successively served as one of the physicians of the Lying-in Hospital, St. Joseph's (Catholic) Home, and St. Elizabeth's Hospital for Women, under the charge of the Sisters of St. Francis.  with this latter institution he is still connected, and he is also one of the Consulting Surgeons to the Carney (general) Hospital, under the charge of the Sisters of Charity.

      "An assistant instructor in the Harvard Medical School, he was dropped from his place in 1866, 'in order to do penance,' the faculty espousing a private quarrel into which he had been forced by three of his fellow-subordinates [In 1865-66, Bowditch, Bigelow, are already Professors; Ellis and Buckingham are adjunct professors, non-professors at the School included R. M. Hodges, J. E. Tyler, D. W. Cheever, F. Minot, James C. White, F. E. Oliver, Samuel L. Abbot, Sinclair,  -- 1901 letter indicates that probably Hodges, Minot, and Ellis].  This apparent disgrace he accounts the great good fortune of his life, for it couched [caused to recline] his blindness as an alumnus of Harvard, to the arrogance, nepotism, and injustice of those claiming to control the profession in eastern New England."* [*We quote from the official Album of the Carney Hospital, to which we are also indebted for the outline of Dr. Lewis' life.]

      It is not generally known that to Dr. Storer's decision and inflexibility of purpose the American Medical Association owes its escape [!!!], in 1865, from what would probably have proved its death-blow, a deep-laid and powerful conspiracy having been formed in Boston to prevent the meeting of the Association, at probably the most precarious period of its history. pp 7-9.

      Thus officered, the Journal of the Gynaecological Society cannot fail of success.  Not being obstetrical, it will leave that department, Midwifery, as well as the Diseases of Children, to the excellent New York quarterly, which so well illustrates those branches of medicine, and being to a great extent official in its character, it will endeavor in no way to run counter to, or injure, the venerable weekly which has for so many years, from its very solitude, enjoyed the privilege of irresponsibility.

      It will be to our own aim to present to the profession a magazine that will yield the palm to none in the country for general typographical excellence.

                              J. C.  p. 11.

 

From Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston. 1(1). 

FIRST REGULAR MEETING, HELD JANUARY 22D, 1869* [*A portion of the Report of this first meeting was published in the "American Journal of Obstetrics" for February, 1869.]

      In accordance with the desire of several medical men of Boston and its vicinity, who had previously consulted upon the subject, a meeting was held on January 22d, 1869, for the purpose of establishing a Gynaecological Society,--the first, so far as can be ascertained, of its kind in this country.

      The meeting having been organized, Dr. H.R. Storer presented the arguments that had influenced the members to found the new Society.  They were the following:--

      8.  That so far from its being a disgrace to a physician to be interested in uterine diseases, it should rather be considered, if he is known to have been thoroughly educated in general practice, an honor.  As with the diseases of special sense, the eye and the ear for instance, the diseases of the throat and the chest, and of the mind, so here, all treatment ust rest upon general principles;--and all method of diagnosis, as all procedures of practice, not upon guesswork, but upon science and common sense.

      9.  That many of the great improvements that have been made have been American,--as the first successful performance of ovariotomy by McDowell; the suggestion of the rational treatment of vesico-vaginal fistula by Marion Sims; and of flexions of the uterus by Emmet.  American gynaecologists have already secured for this country a pre-eminent position in the world of science; it is for the members of this and kindred societies to make the position the more permanent.

      10. And, were there no other reason, the fact that every man owes to woman for her love in his infancy, in his childhood, and in his manhood, a debt that no devotion can ever repay;--and when as physicians we reflect that her special diseases are manifold more in number, worse in severity, and more dangerous to physical and mental integrity, than any affliction we ourselves are called to suffer, we should offer no less a sacrifice to the other sex than a life's work.

      11.  That as the diseases of women are in great measure capable of being discovered and demonstrated, the same degree of disgrace should be attached to physicians prescribing at random for married women complaining of pelvic symptoms, as to those who would do this in the case of diseases of the throat or eye, or who unjustifiably lengthen a patient's treatment for the sake of a larger fee.

      12. That as in attending upon childbed all impurity of thought, and even the mental appreciation of a difference in sex, are lost by the physician, and an imputation of them would be resented as an insult by the profession, so the care of uterine disease tends to inspire greater respect in a patient for her attendant, and in him for her.  It is untrue to say that high-minded and delicate women instinctively desire to be attended by one of their own sex for these diseases, any more than in confinement, just as it is unquestionably the fact that because of the mental and physical disturbance temporarily induced even by healthy menstruation, women, the best of nurses, are unfitted to practise medicine and surgery, in any of their departments, with as much benefit to their patients or as successfully as men.

      13.  That as it is the duty of every searcher for truth to impart what he may find to his fellow-men, so it is incumbent upon the members of this Society to endeavor in every honorable way to exert an educative and persuasive influence upon the profession at large.

 

      The following preamble was then signed by the members:--

      The undersigned, desirous of advancing the study and treatment of the Diseases of Women, hereby associate themselves together with that intent, and adopt for their government the appended Constitution and By-Laws.

 

[Initial signers] George H. Bixby; Samuel L. Dutton; H.M. Field, Newton Corner; Winslow Lewis, John C. Sharp; Horatio R. Storer; Levi F. Warner; William G. Wheeler, Chelsea.

 

      After which, the Constitution and By-Laws, offered by Dr. Storer, and hereto appended, were discussed, article by article, and unanimously adopted.

 p. 13-15.

      Dr. H. R. Storer presented to the Society a masked patient, concerning whom he desired advice, the case being one of

                             OBSTINATE EROTOMANIA.

      "Before the patient consulted Dr. S., her clitoris had been excised; no benefit being obtained. ... ... There was no clitoris left to excise, even if Dr. S. had believed in the efficacy of Mr. Baker Brown's treatment, which, from its unsuccessful employment at his [HRS's?] hands in other cases, he did not.  He had resorted to an operation which might be a novel one: ...  he had divided, so far as seemed possible, all nervous communication with the affected part.  Relief, however, had been but partial. p 20-21

      "Dr. P.[inkham] also exhibited the intra-uterine air-pump of Sir James Y. Simpson, which had only been used by its inventor for bringing on or increasing the menstrual flow when this was due, but which had been the first instrument used by Dr. Storer for producing a sanguineous flux during the menstrual interval.

      The Secretary stated that he had lately received a request for his scarificator from one of the most celebrated gynaecologists of Europe, and that it had given him much gratification to learn that the first conception of the new principle of treatment and its application to practice were in reality American. p. 24

      Dr. S. exhibited  a masked patient, with hemorrhoids, external and internal, and a polypoid outgrowth above the unnaturally contractile sphincter ani, by which it was prevented from revealing itself to any of the usual methods of diagnosis, and showed how instantaneously, painlessly, and perfectly the diagnosis became possible by eversion of the rectum by pressure from within the vagina. p. 26

 

"The Frequency and Causation of Uterine Disease in America." Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, July, 1869, p. 39-48. Toner, p. 12.

      There are honest men in our profession who deny the frequency of uterine disease.  Having eyes they see not, and even if they saw, they could not understand; this being from no wilful fault of their own, but in consequence of defective training or erroneous methods of observation.  There are others, equally honest in their purpose, who are deterred from making the necessary investigation, from a twofold timidity: fear of the ridicule of their fellows, and of being misunderstood by their patients.  There are others still, who, from jealousy, natural incompetency, the love of mischief, or ingrained malice,[!] would keep from the laborer his most satisfying recompense, by stigmatizing the records of his cases as false or overdrawn, and as imaginary the diseases that they represent. p. 39

      ... During the sixteen years since we[!] graduated in medicine, we have never once prescribed for a married woman with any, the slightest, pelvic symptoms,--and this is what perhaps no other living man can say,--without a careful digital examination; and while in a small proportion of cases we have found so healthful a local condition that we were able to dismiss the pelvic region from all participation in treatment, in scores upon scores of other cases, where not the slightest suspicion had existed on the part of the patient that there was here any cause for anxiety, we have detected the grave, effective, and real exciting cause of the distant or apparently constitutional disorder previously recognized. ... p. 40

      ... We constantly see pelvic cellulitis mistaken for intestinal inflammation, uterine fibroids for impacted scybala, and vaginismus for sexual apathy, simply for the reason that the necessary measure of physical examination had not been reported to,--to neglect which in affections of any other part of the body would be by every ordinarily good physician pronounced malpractice. ... p. 41

      The sewing machine, that compound of blessing and curse to woman, adds to the list of influences causative of disease, not only acting in several of the ways suggested, by the long-continued and constrained position, and fatiguing of the pelvic muscles, but in another, not generally sufficiently appreciated, by which a mental and dangerous disquietude is originated and enhanced by the vulvala uto-stupration. p. 44.

      [Long Gardner quote probably same as in Female Hygiene.]

      We do not believe with Gardner and Gaillard Thomas that the healthy woman is the physical equal of the man in all and every respect,--the motto of our Society, so wise and so truthful, expresses the converse of this,--but we do believe that, while a host of pelvic aches and ills have grown into existence as the result of a change from the age of Force to that of Reason, there were in the old times behind us, that we are wrongly taught were golden, deaths without number from pelvic causes unsuspected, ovarian dropsies supposed ascitic, uterine hypertrophies, outgrowths and degenerations misnamed affections of the liver, and all sorts of disease from oversight and neglect by the physician, special in their causation, and wrongly designated as by the providence of God.

Editorial Notes, July 1969 53-65.

      ...  There have long existed obstetrical societies in many of the great cities of Europe and America.  Those of London and Edinburgh have done much good work, and so, at home, will[!] those of New York and Boston.  Obstetrical societies, however, like obstetrical professorships at colleges, have always been chiefly occupied by subjects particularly pertaining to midwifery, and will undoubtedly continue to be.  The establishment of the new Society is to advance a branch that have hitherto left practically neglected, and it is to be hoped that they will extent to it a hearty welcome, rather than regret that it has at once sprung into a side-by-side success. p. 54.

      We are glad to chronicle the formation of the Association of Medical Editors at the session of the American Medical Association at New Orleans.  Such an organization, if properly conducted, can effect a vast deal towards furthering the best interests of the profession.  The influence of the presiding officer of the present year, Dr. Davis, of Chicago, will go far towards developing the best tendencies of this movement, as all who have watched his long career, advisory and executive, in the American Association, must willingly acknowledge.  Here in the East, where three years ago he so ably brought order from chaos, and attuned conflicting elements to the most perfect harmony, making of the meeting that fair-weather prophets had doomed to an ignominious failure, the most perfect success, that has since but one adjective been applied to Dr. Davis, as to his then administration, and that, the word magnificent.

      We shall endeavor, in every way, to be loyal to the editorial, as to the National Association, to the profession, and to the science we humbly claim to represent. p. 61

      [discussion of greedy Dorchester land owners attempt to prevent Winthrop location of the new City Lunatic Hospital.]

 

From Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston. 1(2). August 1869.

      The Secretary read a letter from Dr. Wm. B. Atkinson, of Philadelphia, Permanent Secretary of the American Medical Association, stating that no organization with the same objects as this Society, seems yet to have been formed in the United States, wishing it success and expressing the desire that it should be represented at the meeting of the Association at New Orleans in May.  He also read a communication from Dr. Isaac Hays, of Philadelphia, expressing his willingness to publish the transactions of the Society, in the "American Journal of the Medical Sciences." p. 67

      Dr. Bixby confirmed Dr. Warner's statements as to the risk of uterine injections, and agreed with that gentleman that they should be resorted to only upon very exceptional occasions.

      Dr. H. R. Storer acknowledged the general truth of the remarks of the previous speakers and had almost entirely relinquished the use of uterine injections.  p. 68

      Dr. Storer remarked that if MR. Hewitt's pessary accomplished all that was claimed for it, it was indeed a great desideratum. p. 69

      Dr. Storer said he had not doubt as to the possiblity of this, and referred to a paper upon the aetiology and treatment of the reflex gastric disturbances of gestation he had published some time since in a Western medical journal.  As to the suggestion of induced abortion, this should never be resorted to save as a last resort, and then only after consultation with an expert.  The community is far too prone to base its valuation of foetal life upon the apparent estimation in which it is held by medical men.  Just has been said concerning amputation as compared with saving a limb, any fool can produce an abortion, but it is a wise man who succeeds in preserving the foetus. p. 73

[J.B.S. Jackson present at 4th reg. meeting Feb. 16, 1869]

      The Secretary read a letter from Dr. B.F. Dawson of New York, Editor of the "American Journal of Obstetrics," expressing his willingness to publish the Transactions of the Society in that periodical, and stating that he had concluded arrangements with Dr. Dawson for this purpose.  He had written Dr. Hays, of Philadelphia, that in doing this the Society felt under obligations for the courteous invitation he had extended, and would, no doubt, be happy to procure the insertion in extenso of some of the communications made them, in the "American Journal of the Medical Sciences." p. 73-4.

"Dr. S. ... and remarked that one of the patients, from whom he had removed the entire uterus by abdominal section, here weighing thirty-seven pounds, was in his office a few weeks since, in perfect health, the operation having been performed three years ago last September.  Gentlemen would recollect that, at the time, a prominent hospital surgeon [Identify him] had expressed his regret that this patient had recovered, and than another gentleman [ditto] had shown his regard for the advance of pelvic surgery by calling upon the profession, by a card in the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal," to withhold all countenance [approval, support] from the operator. p. 79

      Dr. Storer moved the following resolutions, which were seconded by Dr. Dutton and adopted.

      1.  That a circular be sent, in the name of the Society, to the faculties of the several medical colleges in the United States, calling attention to the scientific and practical importance of the diseases of women as regards their frequency, causation, effects, and curability, the neglect that they have thus far experienced at the hands of the profession, and the reasons therefor, and the great need of a change in this particular, and requesting their assistance towards this end, by the establishment in every instance of a separate chair or lectureship of Gynaecology, as distinguished from Obstetrics or Midwifery.

      2.  That a memorial be transmitted to the American Medical Association at its coming meeting at New Orleans, calling attention to the importance of the diseases of women as a department of medical science, and praying that the circular sent to the colleges by the Society may receive the formal approval of the Association, and be indorsed to that effect by its president and permanent secretary. p. 81-82.

 

"Removal of Horse-shoe Pessary (Open Lever of Hodge) from the Cavity of the Female Bladder." Article I. Read before Suffolk District Medical Society. New York Medical Record, July, 1868.  Article II. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, August, 1870 and Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, October, 1870. Toner, p. 12.

 

"A new reversible (Direct and Retracting) Speculum." Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, November, 1868.  Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston,  May, 1870. Toner, p. 12.

 

"An Outline History of American Gynaecology." Article I. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, August, 1869, 103-118.

      "We can smile at these; but we cannot smile at the account of unhappy Mary Dyer's malformed offspring; [Winthrop, hist of N. E. vol. i., p. 261.] or of Mrs. Hutchinson's domestic misfortune of a similar character, [Ib., p. 271] in the story of which the physician, Dr. John Clark,[!!] of Rhode Island, alone appears to advantage; ..."[this is HRS quoting from an O. W. Holmes Lowell Lecture January 29, 1869.  Clarke later becomes subject of HRS biography.]

"He [Dr. Douglass] lived till sixty, dying very suddenly, but not until he had made such a mark upon the profession as might have been expected from one whose Scottish shrewdness and natural intelligence, enhanced by his life on the Continent, had come in unpleasant contact with native Boston physicians, whose provinciality even at that early day had, doubtless, considered this metropolis the hub of the universe, even though their conceit had hardly gone to the pitch of introducing the term themselves.  Hear how pleasantly he describes the brethren: "there is frequently more danger from the physicians i Boston than from the distemper." And again: "In the most trifling cases they use a routine of practice.  Bleeding, vomiting, blistering, purging, and anodynes; and if the illness continued, there was repetendi, and finally murderandi."  That such an emphatic man as this used the obstetric forceps even at that early day, and received praise for it from Smellie, is no more than might have been expected. p 106.

      "it would have been very unkind, through inattention to the rue nature of the complaint,' Dr. Miller continues, "to have subjected these young ladies to painful operations; and, what would have been more to be regretted, to have lost these useful and beautiful organs." p. 116

 

From Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, aug 1869 p. 119.  Editorial Notes.  Whatever excuse may exist for the jealousies of medical men, in their private relations to each other, there can be no condoning attempts to thwart public charities.  Personal antagonisms and rivalries become doubly offensive when invading a field, consecrated even in advance by self-sacrifice.  The perusal, therefore, of the late letter of the Resident Physician of the Massachusetts General Hospital, in opposition to the establishment of a hospital for children in this city, has caused us regret, to use no stronger word.  It is not possible that Dr. Shaw, himself a fair and generous-hearted man, could have published such a letter upon his own individual responsibility.  Its tone, moreover, as well as its signature, is official, and it becomes necessary to hold the trustees of the hospital, or, more properly, the professional staff, accountable for its publication [Who are these bad guys?]. p119

      Two of ourselves shared the friendship of those august and venerable fathers [James Jackson and John C. Warren], and they themselves disclosed to us matters that are now of history, but which, during their lifetime, it would have been unmasonic to utter.

      With the wheat sown by Jackson and Warren, there were also planted tares, and, as often happens, the bad stock has grown apace.  Monopolies were established that, in their infancy, were for the general good; and for this reason, and their very infancy's sake, were protected by artificial shelter.  The monopolies referred to, thus fostered, soon attained a controlling power.  The Medical School succeeded in destroying that attempted to be established by Brown University, prevented that essayed by Dr. Huntington and his associates at Lowell, persistently endeavored to strangle the Berkshire Medical Institution at its birth and after; a process it has since tried to accomplish in the late legislative conflicts concerning the giving the right to Tufts College to confer medical degrees, and the establishment of the Boston Dental College.

      The Massachusetts Medical Society came soon to be managed, as indeed it had always been in great measure, by Boston graduates, and in the interests of the school there was established that discriminating tariff upon the alumni of other medical colleges desiring to practise in this Commonwealth, which is still in full practical force,--a disgrace to us all. p. 120-121.

      It would be unworthy to refer to a third reason that has been suggested as possible, namely, a desire to retain in the old channel any streams of beneficence that may flow from charitable coffers, save to express our disbelief in such a slander.  It was very wrong of Judge Hoar[HRS friend, perhaps relative] to quote at the recent commencement dinner at Cambridge that malicious fling of the New York journalist, who stated as "an astonishing occurrence, that two rich men had died last month in Boston, neither of whom left anything to Harvard College, and neither did either of them leave anything to the Massachusetts General Hospital; another sponge," says the vile satirist, "that has sucked up its hundreds of thousands from the community."  May a gracious Providence send it hundreds of thousands more, provided only that a little broader professional charity on its part be the result. p. 122.

      ... It is not for the present incumbents of hospital posts to assert so offensively that "adequate provision exists in the city of Boston for the medical and surgical treatment of the diseases of children," or to endeavor to render futile the philanthropic exertions of Drs. Ingalls, F.H. Brown, Langmaid, and Greenough.   When some time since we visited that enchanting children's ward at St. Luke's, in New York, we could not help longing for the establishment of such a school for all that is good in grown people here at home, and we heartily give it near-coming God-speed. p 123.

      The Utopian scheme of abolishing lunatic hospitals, and scattering their inmates throughout the community, to which our contemporary, who answers, when addressed as the "Organ of Medicine and Surgery in New England," has lately so fully committed himself, has practically been tested here, and upon the large scale; for what nearer approach to Gheel can we make that is done still by the overseers of the poor in every town in the State?  To farm out the wretched and needy to the highest bidder, to offer, as it were, a premium for starving the poor God-stricken lunatic, and to increase the always terrible risk of his brutal maltreatment by irresponsible custodians, is a species of practical philanthropy for which the Board of State Charities is probably not yet wholly prepared.  The political economist may perhaps fail to perceive the plain difference existing between what is needed for the insane and what for errant women, to which we alluded in the last number of the Journal; but we are surprised that one who [identify this "enemy." Henry J. Bigelow?  Check BMSJ for 1868-9] claims to be the sole representative of the general wisdom of the profession in New England should have been caught so soundly napping. p 124-125.

      The deaths of Professors Alden March, of Albany, and Charles D. Meigs of Philadelphia, two gentlemen affiliated with the Gynaecological Society, the one as a corresponding and the other an honorary member, leave voids in the profession that time only can close.  They were each of them spared to see the ripe fruit of their labors in an appreciation, both in this country and in Europe, such as few men have ever attained.  Dr. March was the founder fo the Medical College and the Hospital at Albany; Dr. Meigs was the parent of Rational Gynaecology in America.  They each accomplished a practice in extent and importance almost unprecedented in the States in which they lived, and they were each cherished by a host of admirers and friends.

      Better however than wealth and honors, more precious than kindly appreciation, Dr. March has left behind him, like the good Blatchford of Troy, the memory of an earnest and self-sacrificing Christian, who saw in his daily work only the opportunity of doing good, and in the vexations and sorrows and disappointments which so closely environ every one of us, merely the landmarks of the path that the Divine Healer of souls had trod before him. p. 127-8. [Meigs suffers by comparison!  On purpose?]

 

From Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Sept. 1869.

Proceedings of the SocietyNovember 1868 "Dr. Storer being at the time unwell, ..."  Warner report at April 6th 1869 GSB meeting, in Oct 1868 JGSB.

      Upon November 14,  Dr. Storer proceeded to operate, with the assistance of Dr. Warner.

Same meeting:  Dr. Storer remarked that in every case the commencement of the operation should be in the nature of an exploratory section.  He had here taken the responsibility of operating very early, before the patient's health had been at all affected, and in a doubtful case.  He had moreover ventured, in spite of Dr. Kimball's printed remonstrances, to pocket the stump of the ovary.  He alluded to the mis-statements so sedulously circulated by over-timid physicians, concerning the statistics of ovariotomy, and to worse distortions of fact.  As an instance of the latter, he referred to a case of his own, operated upon last year at Cambridgeport, fatal from peritonitis.  One of the ovaries was removed; the other, being healthy was left.  Hearing of late that a statement was being circulated by one of the physicians present at the operation, to the effect that the ovary that had not been removed was also cystic, he had taken the trouble to obtain from Dr. Marcy a report of the autopsy, which he now read, and it proved that a small and insignivicant uterine fibroid, the size of a chestnut, had been found, to which no importance whatever had been attached by the gentlemen who made the autopsy, and it was this which had been intentionally misrepresented far and wide to his patients by the person referred to. [Who??]  ... His own success thus far, beyond the removal of the uterus by abdominal section in Boylston Place, had all occurred out of town. ... The new method [pocketing] presented all the advantages of extra-peritoneal treatment with none of the disadvantages of extra-abdominal. p 138-9.

      The question having been asked as to the propriety of abdominal section in extra-uterine foetation, Dr. Storer referred to the paper upon the subject by Dr. Stephen Rogers, of New York.  His own feeling was strongly in favor of giving the woman a chance of life by operating.  IN the case of the specimen now presented, the only operation possible would have been to remove the entire ovary with its contents. p. 140-1.

      Upon motion of Dr. Warner, seconded by Dr. Dutton, Dr. Storer's "Golden Rules" were declared formally endorsed by the Society.

      Designs for a Society Seal having been offered by the Secretary, it was voted, upon motion by Dr. Dutton, that the following be adopted: the legend "Propter uterum est mulier, 1969," encircling the initials "G. S. of B."; and the Secretary was empowered to have the seal prepared.

      Drs. Warner, Bixby, and the Secretary were appointed a Committee, with full power, to consider the subject of printing the Society's Transactions.

      Adjourned. p. 141

      The Secretary reported the progress of his own case of ovariotomy, where an uterine cornu had been pocketed in the abdominal wound, reported at the last meeting of the Society.  The patient had convalesced without a bad symptom.

      Dr. Storer also presented a communication (to appear in a subsequent number of the Journal), entitled PHYSICIANS IN THEIR RELATIONS TO INVALID WOMEN, it being a reply to a published article by Mrs. Caroline H. Dall, and read a letter that he had addressed to Mrs. Dall upon the subject.

      Drs. Lewis, Salisbury, Warner, Field, Dutton, and Brown, each expressed themselves warmly with regard to the error committed by Mrs. Dall, and the necessity of taking immediate action to prevent injury to the community from her misstatements.

 

From Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Sept. 1869.

      Dr. Storer also presented a communication (to appear in a subsequent number of the Journal), entitled Physicians in their Relations to Invalid Women, it being a reply to a published article by Mrs. Caroline H. Dall, and read a letter that he had addressed to Mrs. Dall upon the subject:

March 16, 1869

      Dear Madam:--The medical journal ("New England Medical Gazette," homeopathic, for March, 1869) you were so kind as to send me was duly received, and I have read your article with care.  I cannot help thinking that you have done both physicians and your own sex great injustice, and at the same time dealt a heavy blow at the e public good morals; for, if your statements are true, they apply, a fortiori, with a thousand time more weight to the ordinary friendly and social intercourse of ladies and gentlemen with each other.  The only emotion, besides pity, that attendance upon a woman afflicted with pelvic disease can inspire in a physician, is simple disgust, which would be greatly enhanced did he suppose that she was conscious of any other feeling.

      "Speaking for myself, did I believe your charges true as a general, or even a very occasional thing, I should at once relinquish practice.  I have taken occasion to make inquiries of many ladies since reading your article, indeed giving it to them to read, and they have invariably repelled the imputation, both as regards themselves and their friends, as the foulest of slanders.

      "I shall bring the subject before the Gynaecological Society tonight, and it will have thoughtful consideration.  My own impression is, that every high-minded physician will declare that you must be in error, and that the community will be influenced rather against than in favor of the employment of female physicians, if such are the arguments employed.

      "You will, I know, believe that I think you are sincere, and be sure, on the other hand, that I am equally so myself.  Yours very truly, Horatio R. Storer." p 146-7.

 

"upon Pocketing the Pedicle in Ovariotomy: A Reply to Certain Strictures by Dr. Kimball, of Lowell." Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, September, 1869, 147-154. Toner, p.12.

      In the present communication I do not intend to discuss the merits of demerits of my method of treating the ovarian pedicle, known as "pocketing," but simply to correct a misrepresentation.* [*My answer to Dr. Kimball would long ago have appeared in the Journal were his insult was given, had I not been refused the opportunity by its gentlemanly editor, Dr. Luther Parks.]

      Dr. Kimball, of Lowell, used the following language in the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal" for September 17th 1868:

...

      Putting aside for another occasion the statement that my proposal contains nothing "essentially important in practice," I would call attention to the fact that three distinct charges are made against me by Dr. Kimball in the above paragraphs; for his reiterated expression of surprise means nothing less than that I set forth as new an old method; that I had intentionally done this; and that I had taken my idea from him.  The last two charges I declare to be false.  The first of the three I believe to be false also.

      Upon first learning of Dr. Kimball's assertions, which was not till nearly three months after their publication,  I was inclined to treat them as unworthy my notice; but the frequent inquiries that have been made of me, and the belief that my silence might work to the detriment of more timid men when unjustly attacked, have convinced me that the course I proposed would be wrong.

      As I have said, I was long ignorant of Dr.Kimball's strictures.  This was owing to the fact that at the time they appeared, during September[1868], I was passing my nights at the sea-shore[where?], and having to spend two hours each way in my daily travel to and from the city, I was hurried when in my office, and threw my medical periodicals as they arrived, unopened, into a corner, there to await a more convenient season for inspection.  The first intimation of I had of Dr. Kimball's attack was from London, in a letter dated November 11th, the writer stating that he had learned of it from an acquaintance in Paris.  I did not, however, take the trouble to look up the journal referred to, till nearly a month later, and then might not have done so, had I not been ill at home.  As it was, I got my friend, Dr. Dutton, to hunt up the article for me.  Having learned how matters stood, I at once wrote to Mr. Spencer Wells, of London, on 22d Dec.  His answer, dated 25th Jan.[have this], has just been received, 8th Feb., 1869. p 148-9.

      In view of the above acknowledgment,it has caused me no annoyance, that Prof. Gaillard, of Louisville, in ignorance of the true state of the case, should say in his Journal for December, 1868, that "Storer's operation, for pocketing the pedicle, proves to be an old one, though there is no reason to believe that the fact was known to the doctor."  The narration of cases of my operation by other surgeons, like that by Dr. Prioleau, of Charleston, S. C., reported in the "American Journal of the Medical Sciences," for July, 1869, is sufficient balm for any such wound.  The extreme severity of the cases to which the method is applicable is well shown by the instance reported in this present number of the Journal, in the Proceedings of the Society.  Here, there being practically no pedicle, the uterine was itself was pocketed, and the patient made an excellent recovery. p. 154.

 

From Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, 1869 p. 185.  Editorial Notes.  sept. 1869

      There is not a town of any size, or even a village, in the State, which does not present practical questions coming directly within the province of the new Board.  They will rapidly present themselves.  As for our own city and its immediate suburbs, we may be doing good service by calling attention to a few of the more pressing needs.  The nuisance at Pine Island, where an energetic manufacturer of boneblack so long laughed at the lamentations of a thousand neighbors, has been in a measure abated by foisting the mephitic factory upon the hitherto delightful South Shore; the public stables and receptacle of house offal, though still in close proximity to the City Hospital, are less noisome than they were; the transferrers of chamber-soil, thanks to more modern systems of drainage, do not make night quite so hideous as a few years since; ...  p. 183

      ... Lime is still burned from putrefying shells at South Boston, in the immediate vicinity of a very dense population, and there are still, without doubt, city fathers who think the horrible stench an excellent antiseptic.  Still do the ore-heaps at Point Shirley, month by month and year by year, save when temporarily extinguished as now by some fluctuation in the tariff, belch forth their poisonous fumes.  It is no excuse to say for these works that they are retired and partially locked by the sea.  Directly beside them lies Deer Island, with its host of claimants of the city's care, none the less to be considered because they are pauper or erring.  Directly beside them lies Winthrop, soon to be the Eastern Ward of Boston.  Had the will existed to accomplish what the public health has long demanded, power would have been found by the city, or obtained, if not already possessed, to abate this excessive nuisance of the Revere Copper Company.  And so with the slaughter-houses at Brighton.  Let an alarm of cholera be given, and, under its stimulus, talk will be had of their suppression or improvement; but soon the power of invested capital resumes its sway, and sanitary claims are again disregarded.  Intramural temporary interments are still permitted at certain seasons of the year, and still are congregations allowed to gather together in churches whose vaults contain the festering remains of deceased persons.  No matter how long these may have been deposited, undertakers will testify to their offensiveness, and they are separated by but frail partitions from the worshippers above them.  Dr. Jacob Bigelow, in his wonderful work of overcoming prejudice,[?] brightening the valley of the shadow, and preventing septic disease, stopped one step too short.  He should have effected the removal beyond the probably city limits, of every particle of human debris, unless enclosed by dry earth, or the jars of an anatomical museum.

      In making these remarks [about sources of pollution and disease which should be addressed by the new State Board of Health] we may perhaps wound the sensibilities of some; we are pretty sure to receive the condemnation of others.  Better to do this, however, than by our silence become accessory to the continuance of public evils whose influence in causing disease and death is more than commensurate, oftentimes, with their age or apparent importance.  Every life lost is not an isolated one; every life saved is, as a general rule, the precursor of others that else would not have been called into existence.  p. 184-5.

      It will of course be understood that we have approached this matter [intermarriage of cousins] from no personal reason, but only in consequence of its extreme gynaecological interest; we have frequently advised against the marriage of cousins when consulted in relation thereto, but we do not believe in undertaking to prevent them by statute; we are very much mistaken if there are not physicians in the neighboring State [New Hampshire] of sufficient public spirit to effect the repeal of the ill-advised law to which we have called attention. p 188.  Did this happen?

      Apropos again to the State Board of Health.

      We desire to call its attention, and that of our professional brethren, to the fact, that in a neighboring city, not more than ten miles distant from Boston, a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, in regular standing, who bears the reputation, well earned, no doubt, of being an unblushing abortionist, resides, and practices his nefarious art without let or hindrance.

      More than once has the law striven to vindicate its violated authority and failed of its object, being struck spellbound by the all-potent charms of Mammon.  More than once have dying lips borne testimony to the blood-guiltiness of this monster in human form.  A regular physician of the place was applied to a short time since, by a married lady who considered herself pregnant, for assistance in getting rid of her growing child.  He refused, when she urged her point, saying, "I do not like to go to DR. _____, he is so rough."

      "Does Dr. _____ do such things as that?"

      "Oh, yes! it is his whole business!"

      "How much does he charge?"

      "Ten dollars,"

      "Does he use an instrument?"

      "Yes. He prefers to take them when they are about three months advanced; but I do not think that is quite right."

      This is but a sample of the statements that are constantly being made by patients to physicians in the city referred to.  They all agree in tenor, and so far as our acquaintance, which is not inconsiderable, goes, no one ever thinks it worth while to deny the reports.

      The wretched mothers who lose their lives in this mad attempt to set at defiance the laws of God and man, may be virtually suicides, but their educated accomplice is, in a far truer sense, a murderer.

      There cannot be the slightest doubt in regard to the truth of the statements which we have made, and yet the members of the District Medical Society, and of the Medical Association in his own city, allow this man to go in his course, without a single vigorous effort to arrest the diabolical work which is demoralizing the community, and tarnishing their own good name.  Shame on the profession which makes such high pretension, and tolerates such baseness!  Shame on the manhood of those who retain in their fellowship, and admit, any, to their very homes, and to a leading place in their councils, this professional Herod, whose garments are indelibly crimsoned with the blood of unborn innocence!!  Dare any man who has virtually taken the solemn oath of Hippocrates, who has sworn to regulate his conduct by the noblest maxims of justice, purity, and benevolence, give countenance to the most cowardly of assassins, and even clasp his bloody fingers as those of a friend?  If so, then farewell honor! farewell integrity! farewell all that is lofty and worthy of regard in human character!

      The associates of the person referred to, standing idly by, with folded hands and silent lips, while the fearful slaughter goes on, though possessing all the while the power to arrest it, are participants in his crime, and at the bar of God, if not at that of man, they will be held accountable.  We know that our language is strong, but we feel deeply on this serious subject, and mean to be understood.

      Let the destroyers of infancy be on their guard, for vengeance will not always sleep as it has done.  Human eyes are watching them, as well as the divine, and even tardy and uncertain human justice may overtake them ere they are aware. p 189-190.

      New York has after all become the real field in America for medical success.  Things there are conducted not merely upon a larger, but upon a grander scale.  The student, what city in this country can offer equal clinical facilities?  To the practitioner, general or special, what can afford such a wealth of material for the exercise of his skill?  And, besides all this, the petty jealousies, and, as it were, family quarrels, that in smaller places drag every resident physician into the arena, and compel him to elect one of two conflicting partisanships, are in the great metropolis practically annulled.  Individuality, save in reputation, is to a great extent lost, and the fact is recognized that to acknowledge another's merit is for the common good.  There, a rival school, or a new hospital, is welcomed rather than contended against, and those working independently of cliques are honored by them all. ... p 191-192.  It would be unfortunate, but interesting, if there was a family quarrel among the Storers.

 

From Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, oct. 1869 p 219 "proceedings."

      He [secretary] exhibited the photographs added to the Society's collection since the lst meeting, namely, those of Drs. Linton, Baldwin, Atlee, Miller, Gaillard, and Parvin; and announced that he had received, for permanent preservation, those of all the founders of the Society, save Drs. Field and Sharp. [This collection would have Storer!] p 196

      ... He [Secretary] took occasion to allude to the reluctance of physicians to assist in bringing to justice these gross offenders [a midwife had previously been discussed] who strike at man's life in the very citadel of its commencement, and instanced a late scandalous case in Essex County, where the assassin was a physician still accredited as a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, whose disgrace it was that it had not yet moved in the affair. p. 203.

      The committee, Drs. Bixby and Field, appointed to consider whether some further action ought not to be taken by the Society relative to counteracting the mischievous influence of Mrs. Dall's late article in the "Homoeopathic Gazette," reported that in their opinion Dr. Storer's paper upon the subject should be offered for immediate publication to the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal."

      The report was accepted, and the suggestion of the committee ordered to be carried into effect.* [*In consequence of certain offensive conduct of the editor of the journal referred to[Luther Parks from Feb 1869 through at least Jun 70!!], it was thought best to reserve Dr. Storer's paper for publication elsewhere.  It will be found in a future number of the Journal of the Society.]

      Upon motion of Dr. Dutton the officers of the Society were authorized, ex officio, to enter upon the publication of a new medical journal, to be entitled "The Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston."[April 6, 1869--7th Regular Meeting] p. 208.

      A special meeting [April 9] ... to hear a communication from Dr. Lemercier upon the Physiology of Reproduction, Dr. Dix having kindly offered the use of his capacious and elegant apartments for the occasion. ... there being present Drs. Lewis, Warner, Dutton, Field, Sullivan, and H.R. Storer, and Dr. Pinkham, of Lynn, Corresponding Member, and, by invitation, some two hundred [!!] medical gentlemen of Boston and the immediate vicinity. p. 208-9.

      The Secretary also presented a communication from Dr. Gerould, of Massillon, Ohio, a Corresponding Member of the Society, ... His attention had first been called to it in 1866 by Dr. G., who had for the previousyear been his assistant.  p. 214.

      Dr. Storer called attention to the marked SYMPATHETIC CONNECTION BETWEEN THE UTERINE AND PULMONARY SYSTEMS IN WOMEN: so great, indeed, that the uterus has been called an accessory respiratory organ.  During menstruation a large part of the carbonaceous waste, which is at other times burned in the lungs, is carried off by the catamenia -- thus rendering the work to be accomplished by respiration much easier.  Andral and Gavarret had shown this fact by carefully conducted experiments, ... p. 215-6.

      The Secretary announced that he had received from Dr. John P. Gray, of Utica, late President of the New York State Medical Society [Find letters to and from HRS], the draft of a bill relating to the procurement of criminal abortion, lately reported to the Legislature of New York, in behalf of that Society, in view of the great frequency of the crime.  In many instances it was caused by direct mental aberration; in others it was the result of that subtle imitative propensity which, in giving rise to the vagaries of fashion and the whirlwind manias of certain forms of sympathetic disease, had afforded to puzzling a study for psychologists.  It was moreover the prolific parent of multiform dangerous and obstinate organic lesions, which it was as much the business of the gynaecologist to prevent as to cure.

      Dr. Storer also called the attention of the members to the fact that the action of the New York Society, and of other State Societies that had preceded it, was in pursuance of the active impulse given so long ago as 1857, but the report of a committee of the Suffolk District Medical Society of this city, followed, in 1859, by the Memorials of the American Medical Association, which he now exhibited, to the several Legislative Assemblies and State Medical Societies of the Union.  In 1860, Dr. Brinsmade, of Troy, N.Y., now deceased, from the committee of the Medical Society of the State, appointed to consider the recommendations of the American Medical Association, reported the following resolution, which was adopted: "That the Society cordially approve of the action of the American Medical Association in its efforts to exhibit the extent of the evils resulting from the procuring of criminal abortion, and of the means which are adopted to prevent its commission, and cheerfully comply with the request for a zealous co-operation for the furtherance of more stringent legislation in regard to this most destructive and revolting crime, committed almost with impunity, and with appalling frequency."  For reasons [what were they?] almost inseparable from the successful progress of any great reform, effective action was delayed until the meeting of 1867, when a series of resolutions presented by the venerable Dr. James Anderson, of New York city, were adopted, and transmitted to the State Assembly then in session.  In the drafting of these resolutions, Dr. S., who was present as a delegate from the State Society of Massachusetts, had the honor of being consulted.  As was expected, the ice was but broken, and to the eloquent appeal of the next year, 1868, made in his inaugural address, by Dr. Gray, then President, and to the fact that the draft of the bill now exhibited was presented by the Society to the Assembly, ready for their immediate action, that the progress made must be attributed.

      How different from what has obtained in our own State!  It was here that the advance was initiated, which has received the benediction of the whole country.  Having given the key-note to other States, the courage of our brethren failed them,--Boston, which claims to control the opinions and actions of the rest of the State, first showing the white feather.

      In furtherance of the action advised in 1857, by the committee of the Suffolk District Medical Society, another committee was appointed by the State Society at large, with instructions to mature and render effective an appeal to the Legislature, praying for such modification of the abortion statute as might be needed.  Of this committee Dr. S. was a member, his colleagues being Drs. Foster Hooper, of Fall River, Ebenezer Hunt, of Danvers, Jacob Bigelow, John Ware, J.D. Dalton, and Charles Gordon, of Boston.

      These gentlemen [Were all guilty?], two of whom are now deceased, took advantage of his absence from the State, to hurriedly report that "the laws of the Commonwealth are already sufficiently stringent, provided they are executed;" whereas the fact was, and is, that their very imperfections rendered their execution often impossible.  The Councillors of the Society adopted the report of the committee, Dr. S. subsequently protesting against their action, by formal letter,[have this] and in print, [get this!] and thus the matter has rested,--an occasional case of woman-slaughter, like those reported at the last meeting of this Society, coming to the surface, and by its slight ripple stimulating, for a moment, the professional conscience to an appreciation of the fact that, by their prolonged apathy, physicians are becoming more and more responsible for the prevalence of this crime.  The subject was one deserving the attention of the Society.

      The justice of the preceding remarks was acquiesced in by the members present, and a committee, consisting of Drs. Storer, Dutton, and Sullivan, was appointed to report at a future meeting such action as may seem advisable to assist in preventing the crime of abortion. [Try to find report of this Committee.]p 221-222

      The Secretary read extracts from a letter from Mrs. C.H. Dall, to the effect that her communication in the "Homeopathic Medical Gazette," upon the unfitness of physicians to have the charge of female patients, upon which comments were made at the two preceding meetings of the Society, was written at the instigation of a medical man [Who? Bowditch who was an early Garrison associate?]; and that it was intended to represent the opinion of many of the older members of the profession [Including author of Man Mid-Wifery Exposed?]and to provoke discussion. p. 222

      The Secretary stated that negotiations were in progress with a responsible publisher, for the establishment of the new journal authorized by the Society, and that he had reclaimed from New York the MS. transactions hitherto sent to be there published. p. 223.

 

"A Defence of Dr. G. H. Bixby, of Boston, against attempted Ostracism by the Censors of the Massachusetts Medical Society." Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston. October, 1869.  Reprinted under the title of "Fiat Justitia Ruat Coelum," as an open letter to the Fellows of the Massachusetts Medical Society. Toner, p.13.

 

Editorial Notes, Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Oct 1869

      ... [Boston unfriendly to visiting physicians]  Witness the experience of a distinguished Canadian physician, affiliated with our own Society, and well known throughout the country for his gynaecological attainments.  General practitioners of Boston had long been in the habit of sending their wealthy patients to St. Catherine's, nominally for the waters, but in reality preferring that the credit of the cure they could not effect themselves should be made by a stranger rather than by their own townsmen.  The Canadian expert did very often effect the result desired, and he has more than once stated to us his surprise at the ignorance that should have sent what were sometimes very trivial cases so far for treatment.  After a while the gentleman was occasionally sent for to visit Boston [invited by HRS or the Society perhaps?], and then the whole pack, Tray, Blanche, and Sweetheart, that before had fawned for his letters of approval, were yelping at his heels.

      If, instead of an occasional visit, it is a permanent stay that is proposed, the case is still worse.  We need do no more than instance the most distinguished teacher of physiology now living [Brown Se'quard], also [like the Canadian?] affiliated with the Gynaecological Society, whose name, used as a blind, and against his expressed desire, stood for one year upon the public announcement of Harvard University, after he had positively refused to deliver another course of lectures; not the first or the only instance in which that institution has descended to the practice of the veriest empiric, deserving the ban of the National Association.  The gentleman referred to, now gone hence to a far loftier post, made no secret of the coldness with which he was treated, even by his college associates here in Boston. [This does not ring particularly true.  He returned to visit Agassiz frequently (I think)] p 249-250.

      How does membership [in the Massachusetts Medical Society] become possible?

      By the first by-law of the State Society, as revised in 1859, it is requisite that the applicant "shall have passed a satisfactory examination before a Board of Censors, as to his credentials and personal and medical qualifications and character, and shall have signed the by-laws.  But any person having been graduated as Doctor of Medicine at Harvard University, or the Berkshire Medical Institution, shall, if otherwise qualified, be admitted without further examination as to his medical attainments."

      It is not necessary that applicants shall have graduated at any medical college, and taken their degree as doctor in medicine, for the by-law goes on as follows:

      "Also any person may be admitted a Fellow, ...

      Now, to call this by-law an unjust one, reported as it was by no less an authority than Dr. Jacob Bigelow, Emeritus Professor in the University, will be thought, doubtless, highly improper here in Boston.  But outside of Boston, and throughout the country, the discrimination that it has established will be called, as we have ourselves publicly stigmatized it, unrighteous and damnable.

      ... There were present but four of the five censors appointed by the Suffolk District Society; there were two votes for admission (Drs. Damon and Sinclair) and two for rejection (Drs. Lyman and Jeffries).* [These gentlemen cannot complain that we have so distinctly presented the character of their vote.  The information came from head-quarters, and the Fellows of the Society have a right to know the exact nature of the doings of their servants.  The censors themselves took very good care to make it known, before a night had passed, that they had decided against the admission of the gentleman from St. Louis.] p 253

      The excuse, moreover, cannot be made that our colleague’s actual standing in the profession was unknown to the censors; unfortunately for them[him?], the prospectus of this journal, with the gentleman's name upon it, had been a topic of general conversation for some time, and it was that day in the hands of every one who attended the meeting of the [Massachusetts Medical] Society.  It is not improbable that this fact had to do with what has been called the cowardly act of vengeance for the establishment of a new and more independent medical journal that was then committed, for one of the censors has already stated that they fear lest their course may be interpreted as persecution. p. 255

 

Prioceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, November, 1869, 264.

      Dr. Garratt exhibited his new

                           ELECTRIC ABDOMINAL DISK,

and presented several specimens to the Society for employment by its members.  He had found the local application of galvanism to the surface of the body of especial advantage in many diseases of females, adn by experiments instituted by the advice of Prof. Brown-Se'quard he had ascertained that the best effect was obtained when the application was made to the periphery rather than to the nervous centres, to the abdomen rather than to the spine. [Was this the painful measure used on Emily Elvira?]

      Dr. Storer having invited the Members of the Society to attend his course of lectures to physicians upon the Surgical Diseases of Women, to commence on June 1st [1869-What series was this?], upon motion, it was voted that Special Meeting of the Society be held for the purpose at the time and place indicated. p. 278

"Physicians in their Relations to Invalid Women." Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, November, 1869, 284-288. Toner, p.13.

" ... Possessed, however, of an immense plexus of nerves of which man knows nothing, and sensitive to a thousand pains, and responsive to a thousand remedies of which he cannot dream."* [*New England Medical Gazette (Homeopathic), March, 1869, p.88]

      Now it will be observed that Mrs. Dall distinctly makes these charges:--

      1. That a physician's presence in the sick-chamber is impossible without creating a morbid activity of the sexual sense, that is to say, an unchaste thought, if not an unchaste longing, even in the purest women.

      2. That a vast amount of female disease is merely simulated.

      3. That physicians, themselves a disturbing influence, do not recognize this fact, are unable to detect malingering where it really exists, and are so incompetent to practise.

      4. As they are, also, for the reason that "it is impossible for any man to penetrate the mysteries of an organism that he does not share."

      It is unnecessary to do more than present these statements in all their grossness.  We can only believe that their authoress was unaware what she penned.  It would be wicked to believe that she spoke from any personal experience; but there can be no doubt that she has totally misrepresented the general experience of her sex.  Physicians, to whom the treatment of the diseases of women would be simply disgusting, were it not for the belief that women really suffer physically far more in proportion to men than is generally supposed, can well afford to pass over this criticism of themselves, however unintended it may have been, in silence; but an imputation upon the character of their patients has been made, which, unless changed, would tend to prevent the disclosure of much real suffering, and the bestowal of much real aid, and besides to lower the moral standard of professional and social intercourse with women.

      If Mrs. Dall has not committed a fearful error of judgment, not only are physicians universally a curse to the community, but the daily meeting of clergyman with parishioner, of teacher with scholar, of friend with friend, unattended as these are by the disgust which is so constantly present in the case of the medical attendant, are productive of so direct and intense a degree of sexual excitement, "even in the purest women," that the very name of continence is a delusion, and of chastity a lie.

      Were her statements true, no honorable man could longer continue to practise his profession.  If they are true, the sooner every one, both men and women, is made to confess the fact, the better for us all; and if female physicians base their claims to recognition and support upon such vile slanders as these, never before in this community so distinctly stated, the sooner the better this also.

      "Possessed, however, of an immense plexus of nerves of which man knows nothing, and sensitive to a thousand pains of which he cannot dream," the discovery referred to will probably remain in their own possession, and that of their over-enthusiastic advocates. p 287-288. What does HRS mean??

 

"An Outline History of American Gynaecology."  Article II. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, November, 1869, p 292-309.

      Dr. Hale, in his "Observations on Abortion," recognized to a much fuller extent than has ever been done by some of his contemporaries, still living, the frequency of the accident, considering that it occurred in at least one pregnancy out of every ten or fifteen in the most healthy towns in the State, and in one out of every four or five in Boston.  In enumerating the many accidental and so-called natural causes of miscarriage, Dr. Hale does not even hint at the possibility of its ever being of a criminal character, nor wa attention called by anyone to this fact till many years after, though there is reason to believe, from the confessions of elderly patients now made, that the practice referred to was as well known to females, and as constantly resorted to, then as at the present time [this seems like a contradiction of his own data which showed an increase in recent decades].  Concealment was then, however, very much easier, so much was it the custom for physicians to imperfectly study their uterine cases.  Dr. Hale was a very accurate observer, as we ourselves well recollect.  He recognized the disastrous effect of abortions, as compared with completed pregnancies, upon a woman's health.  "Many a woman," he says, "has traced the beginning of a course of ill-health, which has attended and probably hastened her to the grave, to a miscarriage.  And when the tendency to abortion has become habitual, the constitution is almost always undermined, and the patient sooner or later sinks into a consumption.  It is not necessary to go into a consideration of the particular diseases, whether prolapsus uteri, menorrhagia, fluor albus, or only a general debility of the constitution, which are induced by abortion."

      As regards treatment: "In every case of threatened abortion," says Dr. Hale, "the physician is bound to consider distinctly the question of the possibility of being able to prevent a miscarriage.  IF there are reasonable grounds for such a probability, then prevention must be his first object."

      Would that such doctrines as these were held by all practitioners, even of the present day!  There would be far less tendency on the part of the public to believe that the profession tacitly endorses a disregard for foetal life.  Dr Hale was unaware of many of the therapeutic procedures of our own time.  The application of heat to the sacrum for checking uterine activity, and of sponge tents for getting at and removing retained foetal debris, were then unknown; but his paper is a model of thoughtful research and suggestion, in many respects, indeed, superior to the celebrated treatise of Whitheead. p 292-293.

      He [Channing in 1833] insists upon the propriety of a careful physical exploration.  "An examination will always settle the diagnosis, and should never be omitted, not only in this, but in all serious affections referable to the uterine system.  A physician can know nothing of this class of diseases in any other way than by examination per vaginam.  One of the very best writers on female diseases declares he would not consent to undertake the management of any such affection, but upon the condition that an examination were allowed to him.  No objection should stand in the way of making one."

      It is disgraceful that while such statements were officially published in Boston, thirty-six years ago, and a copy thereof placed in the hands of every member of the profession, there has existed and still exists so much charlatanry in the highest quarters, so far as concerns the means taken to decide upon the existence and the differential diagnosis of uterine disease. p. 298.

      From 1856 to 1864, there were no contributions to gynaecology.  In the latter year [actually in 1863, paper published in BMSJ in 1863], a paper was read by Dr. Hr. R. Storer, of Boston, upon "The Employment of Anaesthetics in Obstetric Medicine and Surgery," in which an attempt was made to do what had never before been done, and that is, to explain the comparative rarity of deaths from chloroform in midwifery.  It was referred to the Committee upon Publication, Drs. Putnam, Shattuck, and Morland, but containing, as it did, doctrine very unfashionable in Boston, namely, an endorsement of chloroform in midwifery in preference to sulphuric ether, the committee refused to permit it to be printed among the Medical Communications of the Society according to the usual custom, and it was subsequently published elsewhere.* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, 1863.] p. 309

 

 

From Editorial Notes Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Nov 1869 p 310-322.

      Since resigning our chair at Berkshire Medical College, some two or three years since, our advice has very frequently been asked by students, undecided whether to attend lectures at the Boston school, or to go elsewhere.  ...

      In our last issue but one we alluded to the fact that in its facilities for gynaecological study, New York offers far greater inducements to students, young or old, than does Boston.  There is there, not merely a boundless wealth of material, but also the opportunity to turn it to practical use.  There are there, not merely wards, and even large hospitals, devoted to the medical and surgical diseases of women, but in the private practice of the generality of the profession, a truer appreciation of their frequency and importance.  There are there, not merely experts of world-wide reputation, but they are recognized cheerfully as such by their fellows; their hands are upheld in their work, and in their success those about them take the same measure of pride as though it were their own. p 310

      But what collegiate instruction in the Diseases of Women has as yet ever been given in Boston?  Even under the new regime of the last year, from which so much was to have been expected, from the boasting of those who worked the change [find out who these were], the Obstetrical Chair has remained, as it had always been, the exponent merely of midwifery as an art; in no way illustrating the splendid advances achieved in the sister and more important science of gynaecology since the days when Walter Channing made his professor's chair in Harvard University as respectable and as influential as were those of Jackson, Bigelow, and Warren, and in no way approaching, in its magnetic hold upon the class, that attained and held till the day of his resignation of it [why did DHS resign?], by Channing's successor. p 311

      ... The latter of the gentlemen named [Dr. Sinclair at the City Hospital] had, as a faithful and earnest pupil of Sir James Y. Simpson, and by his researches into the frequency, differential diagnosis, and rational treatment of pelvic cellulitis, fairly won the right to the Chair of Obstetrics in the University.  It was a loss to the profession that it was not so bestowed, as it will be a gain to us all when the chair shall be divided, midwifery thrown into is proper position somewhat in the background [did this ever happen?], a course of lectures on gynaecology instituted, and their delivery entrusted to Dr. Sinclair.  [did these ever happen?] p 312.

      Of the whole mass of disease thus indicated, how large a proportion of it was probably properly diagnosticated, and how much properly treated?  The scoffs that are here so current concerning gynaecology and those most interested in its scientific development, are a sufficient answer to these questions.  p 313-314. [Identify these scoffers!]

      When asked by physicians or students, as we are so constantly, by letter or otherwise, whether Boston affords anything like the instruction in this department, that it so blatantly proclaims has been provided for every other special study, we are compelled to answer in the negative.  We believe, however, that the influence of the Gynaecological Society, already making itself felt in more than one responsible quarter, will soon be sufficient to effect the required change. p. 314  [were they successful?]

      ... The third man in the discovery, equal in his part to Jackson and Morton, was Dr. Henry J. Bigelow [Bigelow (1821?-1891?) had studied under Holmes both at the Tremont School and at Dartmouth; he had while in Europe, helped Holmes by checking for him the stand of the French physicians on homeopathy and by collecting printed material.  His interests were in some ways like those of Holmes.  He was something of a wit; he loved mechanical contrivances; and his curiosity was eclectic. Amiable, p411.], who was so appropriately selected to transfer to the city authorities the beautiful monument upon the Public Garden. p 316.

      Navy surgeon rank controversy discussed on pages 316-320.

      The points at issue between the American Medical Profession, and the State Society of Massachusetts, to which we called attention last month, have been referred by the councillors of the Society to a committee specially appointed for the purpose, consisting of Drs. Ellis, of Boston (Dean of the Medical Faculty of Harvard University), Wellington, of Cambridge, and Hunt, of Danvers. So far, this is all that we expected or desired.  As to the action finally to be taken by the Society regarding each of the matters before it, we have not the slightest doubt.  The unfair advantage granted to Harvard College, with reference to the unchallengeable admission of its graduates, must be rescinded [was it?], and the unwarrantable rejection of the applicant from St. Louis must be atoned for by an apology from those who officially exceeded their duty [was it?].  Any attempt upon the part of those now in power to evade these issues will prove alike futile and to their own detriment, for we are determined to leave no stone unturned until the gross injustice has been righted. 

      As to the action of Harvard College in the matter, it was certainly in excessively ill taste, however shrewdly engineered it may have been, for its dean to have been elected chairman of the committee, and for him to have accepted the position.  Inasmuch, however, as it was stated by one of the College Faculty, Dr. J.B.S. Jackson, during the debate upon the main question at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Medical Society in June, that he agreed with us as to the propriety of abrogating the unjust privilege of the college, and that he thought that in this he but echoed in advance the opinion of his colleagues, there is reason to expect an early settlement of the question.  Delays are dangerous, the more so to those who have most to lose.  The college cannot afford to remain, as we have shown that it is at present, in a hostile attitude to all other similar institutions in the country. p 320-321.

      Much satisfaction will be felt outside this city, at the arrest of Mr. Campbell's self-chosen representative [who are these two?], who now lies safely housed in jail.  The list of would-be subscribers to our Journal, found upon his person, confirms the estimate we ventured last month of the extent to which his operations were carried.  [I don't seem to have reference to this although I have Oct. 1869 Editorial Notes.]

      Equal pleasure will be felt by our friends, particular here at home, to learn that the Journal of the Society is proving pecuniarily a success.  The first few months of the existence of a periodical, like that of a child, are usually its most precarious ones, that is, supposing it to be endowed with an ordinary degree of vitality.  There are those her who have been volunteering the opinion, indeed sedulously circulating it [who are these?], that our publisher would prove a few thousands out of pocket, even at the outset of the undertaking.  These gentlemen will, of course, rejoice with us that the end of the first quarter shows a balance in favor of the Journal, and this although neither any extended advertising nor canvassing have as yet been resorted to. p 322.

 

Proceedings of the Society, Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Dec 1869.

      11th regular meeting June 1, 1989;

      He [Storer] had had it [portable gas furnace for heating cauterizing irons] constructed for the Franciscan Hospital [Not yet called St. Elizabeth's!] ... p. 325.

      ... the second special meeting of the Society, ... was held on the afternoon of June 1st at Hotel Pelham; The President, Dr. Lewis, in the chair.  Besides the members of the Society there were present Drs ...--the [11] gentlemen composing Dr. Storer's class.

      The meeting was called to order by the President, who briefly spoke of the importance to eery physician of a better knowledge of Gynaecology than was generally possessed, and alluded to the fact that little or no systematic instruction in this science had as yet ever been afforded at our medical colleges.  The work undertaken three years since by Dr. Storer, to furnish to men in active practice a knowledge that they could nowhere else obtain, was no longer an experiment; it was a most gratifying success.  Not only were his classes attended more largely than could have been expected, but by physicians of the very highest standing in the profession, and this in the face of the most underhanded attempts to prevent attendance from a distance, on the part of some of his own townsmen [How? By whom?].  It was the opinion of gentlemen, competent to judge from experience, that no course of lectures upon this subject, so thorough, practical, systematic, and well illustrated as these, had ever been given elsewhere, even in Europe.  This fact would prove a matter of pride to the Society as it was to himself, as its President.  Dr. Lewis concluded by cordially welcoming the strangers present to the hospitalities of Boston. p. 334-335.

 

Golden rules for the Treatment of Ovarian Diseases, Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, December, 1869, 338-341.

      ... 10. The surgeon should not refuse to operate even in an apparently unfavorable case. 

      To decline operating lest one should thereby injure his reputation is not only very selfish, but very unwise.  The worst cases often do the best.  Says Mr. Spencer Wells:* [Medical Times and Gazette, November, 1868.] "I have operated lately, and shall soon be driven to again, in very unfavorable cases,--cases almost hopeless,--by a feeling that it is impossible to resist the prayer of a dying woman to try and save her life;" and the experience of this surgeon during the past year has been five lives saved out of every six cases undertaken.  Without ovariotomy every one of these women would have died; and yet some physicians still dare to persuade their patients that the operation is more dangerous than its non-performance. 340-341

 

"Lectures Introductory to a Course to Physicians upon the surgical Diseases of Women." Lecture I. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, December, 1869.  Lecture II. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, January, 1870.  Toner, p.13.

 

From Editorial Notes Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Dec 1869 p 370-386.

      ...presentation to that famous gynaecologist, of the freedom of the city of Edinburgh, ...

      In the fact that our master has lived to obtain this spontaneous recognition at home of his great services to humanity, we heartily rejoice, for it is the most valuable of all the triumphs that he has achieved, and is the legitimate result of a life of faithful endeavor.  To some of the details of Prof. Simpson's earlier history, his struggles, long but successful, against adverse circumstances, false friends, and bitter professional enemies, the worst of whom were his own townsmen [HRS is describing his own struggles.  Perhaps he behaved in ways to make his struggles similar to those of his "master."], we ourselves were permitted, many years since, to call the attention of the medical world.  The renewed lesson now given to all young physicians, in this wonderful rise to the highest pinnacle of professional fame, by the man who "first came to Edinburgh, forty years since, and entered its University as a very, very young, and very solitary, very poor, and almost friendless student," is but the old story of what trust i God and one's self, individuality of thinking, courage in expressing the thought, and a life of devotion to one's chosen work, will surely accomplish; not often, it is true, in such overflowing measure, but always abundantly.  pp. 370-1.

      ... Were Boston physicians, and in particular the past and present attendants at the Massachusetts Hospital, a little more chary in asserting their own claims, and a little more magnanimous towards those of others, there would be far les jealous apprehension among us of unintended slights.

      When chloroform shall have superseded ether in this city [HRS valued ether over chloroform for surgery, no?], as it eventually and assuredly will [!], then will Boston and Edinburgh stand side by side in the world's gratitude; the punctilious "hub" being content with having performed its customary duty, of sending out an idea for the rest of the universe to develop, and, if it can, improve. p. 381

      Our article, it seems, has produced the effect we desired; it has stirred the management of the Infirmary from the apathy exhibited for several years.  During the last month, there has appeared a well-written report of the doings of the current year, containing the following noteworthy paragraph: "It becomes a question to consider if we are not now justified in extending our facilities, even though it should involve a special call upon the charitable to replenish the treasury."

      We trust that this call upon the charitable, and another upon the treasury of the State, will at once be made.  It will always give us great pleasure to further the success of everything that tends towards the honorable development of the several departments of medical science.

      The surgeons of the Infirmary are the following gentlemen: Drs. Robert Hooper, Gustavus Hay, Henry L. Shaw, Hasket Derby, Francis P. Sprague, B. Joy Jeffries, and Robert Willard.  They open their very interesting portion of the report by a remark which in its application is just as pertinent to the welfare of gynaecology as of ophthalmology and otology.  "Through the medium of special journals and society reports," say the Infirmary staff, "and by means of local, national, and international associations, the ophthalmic and aural surgeons, in the various parts of the world, are kept in communication with each other, and thus, by mutual thought and criticism, help forward their ever-advancing science."

      We believe that the Gynaecological Society of Boston has struck the key-note of a similar advance, and trust that this will eventually result in a similar worldwide success. p. 386.

 

--1870

January 1870, Proceedings of the Society.

13th regular meeting, July 6, 1869

      The Secretary read letters in acceptance of their election to the Society, from Drs. A.H. McClintock, of Dublin; C. Hecker, of Munich; J. Hall Davis, of London, and Willard Parker, of New York, , Honorary members, and Heinrich Abegg, of Dantzic; J. Lazarewitch, of Kharkoff, Russia; A. R. Simpson [!], of Glasgow; Wm. O. Priestley, [!], J. Braxton Hicks, and C.H.F. Routh, of London; Wm. H. Hingston, of Montreal; Sam. B. Hunter, of Machias, Me.; C.F.P. Hildreth, of Suncook, N.H.[!]; J.F. Head, of Newport, R.I. [any possible cause of Neport residence?]; Geo. Capron, of Providence; Nathan Mayer, and J.S.Butler, of Harford, Ct.; A.W> Nelson, of New London; J. C. Hutchison, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; D. P. Bissell, of Utica; M.C. Talbott, of Warren, Pa.; J. M. Toner,[!] and J.F. Thompson, of Washington, D.C.; A. Dunlap, of Sprigfield, Ohio; R.e. Paine, of Dixon, Ill.; DeLaskie Miller, of Chicago; A. J. Stone, [!], Stillwater, Minn.; P. M. Kollock, of Savannah, and w. s. Barker, of St. Louis, Corresponding Members.  p 1-2.

14th regular meeting, July 20, 1869

      The Secretary read from a letter by Dr. Charles E. Allen, of Claremont, N.H., as follows, concerning EROTOMANIA.     ... I have had for some time a lady under my care afflicted with the same malady.  She is twenty-two years of age, of a nervous temperament, quick imagination, etc.  As near as I can ascertain, the morbid desire was first brought about by masturbation, commenced five years ago. She has had coitus with two or three different persons within the last two or three years, by advice of a certain physician of this State, with the idea that it might be her salvation; but it has proved useless, form the fact that those employed could not exert themselves half enough for her satisfaction.  p.15-16.

      Dr. Sullivan was inclined to think that the most successful treatment in many instances was to allow excessive intercourse.[!] p. 16

      Dr. Storer referred to the loss the Society had recently sustained in the death of Prof. C. D. Meigs, of Philadelphia, an Honorary, and PRof. Alden March, of Albany, a Corresponding Member, and dwelt in fitting terms upon the work accomplished by the deceased for Science and Humanity.

      Dr. Storer presented photographs of two double monsters now exhibiting in Boston, the one of them occurring in the human species, and known as the Corolina Sisters, or twins, and the other in an adult cow.  Descriptions of these cases, with comments upon them, and perhaps a new explanation of the phenomenon of double monstrosity, he should be compelled to reserve for another meeting. p. 18.

Third special meeting, June 2, 1869.

      ... And so with regard to the induction of anaesthesia; there was here a great choice as to the agent employed.  In Boston and its neighborhood there existed a prejudice in favor of ether, very natural under all the circumstances; and yet there was reason to believe that chloroform, with all the risks, great or small, that have been attributed to it, was in reality safer than ether, in consequence of its less likelihood to cause nausea and retching, which were so fata as causing secondary hemorrhage and as keeping up or increasing general exhaustion. p. 19

      ... To the need that every surgeon should possess sang-froid he need hardly advert, and yet deaths too often proved that such, in an unexpected emergency, had been absent. p 21

      It was strange again, after the warning voices that had been raised, that so many surgeons allowed themselves to vaccinate their patients with the leaven of death, as they were always liable to do where they went from a case of erysipelas, surgical fever, or peritonitis to another surgical patient.  When lectureing formerly to his Midwifery class, Dr. Storer was accustomed to call it malpractice when the attendant upon a case of puerperal fever delivered another lying-in woman, so great were the dangers of septic inoculation by the hand of the accoucheur.  What was here true was equally so of the surgeon in general practice who was also accoucheur, in communities where a safer division of labor was possible, and of those who in attendance upon contagious or infectious disease did not lessen the risk, by the use of carbolic acid or other antitoxic, of their becoming its common carriers. p. 24.

      There were many points concerning the details of diagnosis, of great interest and practical importance, to which there was only time for the most passing allusion; such were the necessity of ambidexterity upon the part of the surgeon, alike in examination and in operating; the risks to which he was exposed, of digital syphilitic and septicaemic[!] infection, and of damage from other sources, to his good name; the danger, unless his hands and instruments were kept scrupulously clean, of inoculating the patient with specific or other virus; ... p. 33-34

 

"Specialism and Especialism: Their Respective Relations to the Profession."  Read before the American Medical Association, 1865, being a Minority Report of the Committee upon Specialism. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, January, 1870, 39-51.  Toner, p.13.  {Read before the American Medical Association at Boston, June 8, 1865, and till now unpublished.*[The above paper is the "Second Report" upon the general subject of Specialism in Medicine, rendered to the American Medical Association in 1865, to which we referred in one of our editorials last month.  It discusses points interesting to gynaecologists.]}

      The undersigned, a member of the Committee upon Specialists, and their relations to the medical Profession, has found himself unable to sign the report presented by its chairman.* [*Dr. Julius Homberger, then of New York.]  From the position, however, that he himself occupies, not merely as a specialist, but as one of the only two practitioners in this country, so far as he is aware, in regular standing in the profession, who are as yet wholly devoted to the treatment of the diseases of women,--a specialist claiming for a branch hitherto supposed the peculiar province of charlatans, its practical recognition as a legitimate field of labor,--he cannot consistently by silence allow it to be inferred either that he endorses entirely the report referred to, or that he will acknowledge his own course, in assuming the position of a specialist in the profession, to have been unwise or improper.

      To a portion of the propositions of Dr. Homberger, assent must be freely rendered by every philosophical or impartial mind.  It cannot be denied,

      I. That a specialist , if master of his art,--and this means no one-sided bigotry, or routinism,--should be more likely than the general practitioner to treat, skillfully and therefore successfully, those classes of disease to which he is devoted.

      II. That for the same reason, it is by the specialist that in his own department science is most likely to be advanced; and thus, it is clear, would be conferred a twofold benefit, both upon

      a. the community, and

      b. the profession. p. 39-40

      ... There are men with whom the acquisition of dollars and cents is in reality a vital necessity, form the circumstances of their families, or from the existence of heavy debt incurred during the attainment of their education.  There are others, drawn by strong constitutional bias from the purer shrine of Apollo to that of Mammon.  To such, were they general practitioners, there would be secret avenues enough to wealth, from which if natural ethics and their religion could not turn them, all other, no matter of what or how stringent code, would fail; and yet these men, so far as their scientific attainments and their esteem by their fellows are concerned, may stand, as they often do, at the very head of the profession. [Who is HRS blasting?]

      But there is a higher gain that that of lucre, and one of the labor for which no honorable man need be ashamed.  To attain fame and earthly honor is no mean ambition[!]; to strive worthily to fill the highest niche, faithfully to work the largest field, first or most safely to carry, by some new suggestion or some method of practice developed to its fullest extent, the boon of life to the largest number, or to generations yet unborn,[Was Horatio considering his anti-abortion effects on future generations?!] is a higher aspiration still, beyond which man can hardly soar.  Can the profession, if this be in reality the end for which means otherwise in questionable taste are employed, consistently strive to prevent it? p.42.

      And so again have we been spared al discussion of the question, whether the specialist who is successful in his branch of practice shall be favorably known by the community.  In all departments of life it is true that men's works do praise them, and with approbation there almost surely come wealth and renown.  The possession of rank is no surer passport to high social standing abroad, than among scientific men the fact of fellowship with certain academies, institutes, or societies, or among medical men the title of attendant at a hospital or teacher at some school, for it is well known that these are gifts hardly to be acquired by the ignorant or undeserving, and sures of attainment by the possession of some special and peculiar excellence.  Thus it is that the authority which moves the practice of the world is legitimately won and worn.  Natura^ duce, obsta morborum principiis, and ne nimium mdicate are mottoes that may make safe practitioners, but of themselves they are not sufficient foundation upon which to base a splendid medical or surgical renown.  For this, is required the simple but most weighty legend, non possumus omnia. p. 44-45.

      It has been thought by Dr. Homberger that the persons best fitted for special practice are those who have never qualified themselves for it by a few years of general practice, feeling perhaps from the outset a peculiar interest in their chosen theme, but allowing the length of their probation to be governed by circumstances of varying character,--as in my own instance, to which I have no hesitation in alluding, by the demands of health.[What was Horatio's health problem when he gave up general practice in 1862?]  An imperative necessity of relinquishing all night work, of whatever kind, may tet leave a man fit for as many hard working hours by day as any mortal ought to endure, and may thus force him a year or two earlier into just the field he had intended eventually to occupy.

      The belief that a thorough knowledge of general practice is unnecessary for a skilled specialist we consider an erroneous one, and that this is in reality the weak point of our colleague's report. ... p 46-47.

      It has been thought by Dr. Homberger that the persons best fitted for special practice are those who have never qualified themselves for it by a few years of general practice, feeling perhaps from the outset a peculiar interest in their chosen theme, but allowing the length of their probation to be governed by circumstances of varying character,--as in my own instance, to which I have no hesitation in alluding, by the demands of health. [What was HRS's health problem?] An imperative necessity of relinquishing all night work, of whatever kind, may yet leave a man fit for as many hard working hours by day as any mortal ought to endure, and may thus force him a year or two earlier into just the field he had intended eventually to occupy. p. 46

      ... but to others gives passage to that promised land of their youthful dreams, wherein lie fame, rank, fortune.   Here, as elsewhere, success is not for the faint of heart.  Whatever a man is minded to do, if to this he devotes his life, with sincerity, persistency, and true moral courage, he is sure, with whatever measure of external success, at least one priceless treasure,--the approval of his own conscience. p 49-50.

The specialist, if a competent man, a sincere man, thoroughly devoted to his work, and withal a patient man, will be sure of his reward, through the most satisfactory of all channels,--the expressed approbation of his fellows in science and art. p 50.

--it is recommended to the Association that the whole subject now under discussion be permanently laid upon the table; a course that best of all would tend to preserve professional harmony, and would, as at present, leave each individual free to judge for himself as to whether and to what extent he shall acknowledge specialists and specialism, time being the most reliable arbiter.  Thus quietly and practically would be conceded, what every specialist will otherwise be sure to claim as his right, that each is free to exercise that taste in pursuing his own professional course which will mark him as being, or not, devoted to his noble work through higher than personal motives, a man of honor and a gentleman. p 51 [Check on the results of this Committee in Transactions of the AMA in 1865 and later]

 

Editorial Notes, Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, January 1870, 51-64.

      We present this month a paper [see above] that attracted some attention when it was read to the American Medical Association several years ago, but whose publication was prevented at the time by an adverse influence.

      Dr Homberger, of New York, in his report as chairman of the Committee upon Specialties, had taken very strong ground in favor of professional free trade [what is this?].  We dissented from our colleague.  The remaining members of the committee, the late Drs. Thos. C. Brinsmade, of New York, and Worthington Hooker, of Connecticut, refrained from an official expression of opinion.  By one of those ingenious manoeuvres for which Dr. Hooker was so noted, the reports of Drs. Homberger and Storer were referred to the Committee upon Ethics, of which Dr. Hooker was also a member, with instructions to report at the ensuing meeting.  Of this committee, by the decease of Dr. Lundon A. Smith, of New Hersey, Dr. Hooker became chairman.  He did not lose the opportunity thus given, of dealing at specialism the blow from the rear that he had not dared to give when face to face with the subject.  For the report of 1866, Dr. Hooker was alone responsible, although it was signed in addition by a far abler man than himself, Dr. James Kennedy, of New York.  Its arguments were specious, pointless, and stale; just what might have been expected, however, for a mere bookwright, who, like a noted authority in this city, a professor in Harvard College, had gained for himself an undeserved reputation among strangers as a practitioner, from an exceedingly limited actual experience [Who is this Harvard professor that Storer unfairly brings up for approbation?  Buckingham comes to mind, given he took DHS's chair and given his subsequent malpractice that HRS reports on in future.  Another possiblity is Holmes, but he probably was not deceitful as this fellow appears to be.].  Writing physiological text-books for primary schools, just as writing rhyme, is not that work for the advancement of medical science which specialists have a right to demand from those who ridicule their own just claims.

      To the report referred to, as an offset, there was appended a minority report by Dr. Bowditch, of Boston.  It proved, for the two men ought not to be mentioned in the same breath [Bowditch apparently highly appreciated by HRS.], more than an answer to the insolence of Dr. Hooker.  Those desiring, during the present troubling of the waters, to emulate the example of the gentleman from Connecticut, who so itched for notoriety, will have the opportunity at Washington, next May, of receiving a like permanent cure.  If less ambitious, let them see to it that the parallel is not made complete. p. 52.  [Again need to follow this in Transactions of the AMA.]

      Resolved, That the Gynaecological Society hereby protests against the crude, hasty, and trivial opinions expressed by Drs. Putnam, Buckingham, and others, being allowed by the city government to affect its action, as against the matured and judicious advice of asylum superintendents, who have examined the several sites suggested, and of the Board of Directors of Public Institutions, who have so long given the subject thoughtful attention. p. 53. [more Storer enemies?]

As it is, the tendency toward the selection of the farm at Winthrop, already owned by the city, which we then advocated, has revived, and in counterpressure, interested land-owners have been busily buying up newspaper editors, vote-brokers, and, directly or indirectly, plastic medical men.  A more sorry sight was never seen in this city than that presented by the professional flock thus led astray, headed as bell-weather by the present President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the distinguished son-in-law of the late Dr. James Jackson, whose names but a few weeks since were paraded in the public prints as advocating the Dorchester speculation. p54.

      ... Full of irony was the "Boston Transcript," when it dubbed as a wit of the first water the physician [who?] who, intending to praise the Dorchester estate, stated that "in his opinion the three worst places that could be selected for a lunatic asylum would be Winthrop, Breed's Island, adn Minot's Ledge!" the latter being, as is known by even our distant readers, merely the submerged site of a light-house, far out at sea.  Such labored raillery as this but turns the laugh upon its mother.

      Seriously speaking, however, there can be nothing more contemptible, or more damaging to the real welfare of the profession, than for medical men to allow themselves to become cat's-paws for those who shrewdly love a civic kernel.  There can be nothing more cowardly than an attempt, whether open or underhanded, by general practitioners to bring discredit by ridicule upon so respectable a body of special workers as are the medical superintendents of insane asylums in this country. ...

      By the passage of the resolution presented above, the Gynaecological Society has put upon record its protest against the wrongs attempted to be perpetrated against the insane, the superintendents of asylums, and the public.  Commenting upon it as we have done, the editors of the Journal are but breaking another link in the chain which has so long bound, it was once thought hopelessly, professional freedom in Eastern New England. p. 55

 p 54-55.

 

      ... [discussion of Carney Hospital] And we have also incidentally made mention of the labors of the Franciscan Sisters, which have already resulted in two hospitals, St. Elizabeth's and St. Francis', to which attention has been called in our advertising columns, for the relief of the diseases peculiar to women. ... For this reason, and from observations we have each of us made at most of the large hospitals in Europe and in this country, we can speak with some confidence of the religious ladies of the Catholic Church in their relations to disease and to medical men.

      There are no nurses that can compare with them, save indeed the Episcopalian Sisterhoods, of whom as yet we have scarce any in America.  For good discipline, for obedience to orders, so cardinal a law, for devotion to their work, for self-sacrifice, even unto death from utter wearing out, nothing can rival what they ordinarily exhibit.  High or low, as may be, in their origin,[Frances Sophia I suspect was high]--for we find the extremes of social life here meeting,--it is a single end that they are seeking, to do the will, as they are able to learn it, of Almighty God, with no hope of any , the humblest, earthly reward.  What more lovely than the character ascribed to the Sister by St. Vincent de Paul, and found realized far oftener than is generally imagined?--

      "Her only convent shall be the house of sickness; her only cell, a hired lodging; her chapel, the parish church; her cloister, the streets of the city, or the words of the hospital; her only wall, obedience; her veil, her modesty; her grate, the fear of God." 56.

[Discussion of Carney Hospital including names of consulting and attending physicians.]

      In the labors of the Franciscan Sisters we are, as gynaecologists, still more interested.  Their provision for suffering women, with the diseases peculiar to the sex, is extended to all, whether Catholic or Protestant, a very large proportion of those coming to them being indeed of the latter faith. p 58.

      We have thus briefly called attention to subjects, the importance of which will year by year become more and more recognized.  It is but a very short period since Marion Sims took the initiative in the establishment of a Woman's Hospital at New York.  Nearly at the same time we ourselves had a uterine ward given us at the Lying-in Hospital of this city, to which we were then officially attached.  From that day dates the first movement towards the recognition of gynaecology, as a legitimate field for hospital labor, in Boston.

      The hospital referred to has long been closed; its funds are but harvesting, we trust, for a renewed influence in the future, for now that the Franciscans have made provision for uterine cases, we hope to see lying-in wards, in a special building for the purpose, again opened, connected, for sanitary reasons, with no general hospital, not even the Carney.

      We look, moreover, to see, by and by, religious Sisters, Catholic it may be, or perhaps Episcopalian, as nurses at the City Hospital, and at the Massachusetts, and will do what we can to hasten the coming of that time.  Though we ourselves are each of us Protestant, yet we echo the eloquent words of Father Hyacinthe when "recognizing true Christians in all the Protestant bodies;" for we believe with him, that "the true church, embracing all who hold Christ as their head, is far wider than any earthly organization."  In that belief we commend the above to all thoughtful physicians. p 59-60.

      The appended letter from an eminent member of the Medical Corps of the Navy, Dr. Ruschenberger, of Philadelphia, shows, with more distinctness than we had done, the necessity of congressional action to correct the abuses now so notorious.  The additional insult from the Line to the Staff, here recorded, is infamous. p 60  [Was this another issue that ended in victory? Were Storer and his coeditors responsible?]

      The subject touched upon in one of our recent issues, pertaining to the induction of criminal abortion by a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, still weighs heavily upon our minds.  A reputable physician in the city were the villain dwells, mentioned the matter to us the other day, querying as to the proper method of initiating proceedings against him in the District Medical Society to which he belongs.  As the case is one of much interest, and my stand as a precedent for other bodies acting under similar circumstances, we would suggest the appointment of a special committee, composed of unprejudiced persons, whose duty it should be to ascertain all the evidence, so far as practicable, bearing upon the case, and to give the accused a fair hearing in self-defence.  It is by no means impossible that sufficient proof of his guilt would be obtained to warrant his arrest, and render his conviction certain, in a court of law, besides ensuring his ignominious expulsion from the medical fraternity.

      But a few months ago he was arraigned before one of our courts of justice, charged with causing the death of a young woman from a distant town.  He was bound over in the sum of five thousand dollars, if our memory serves us, to appear at the next term of the Superior Court for trial.  But, before the time arrived, the prosecution was withdrawn.  Report has it that three thousand dollars in greenbacks answered as a sufficient hypnotic for the conscience of the prosecuting attorney, as well as anodyne for the agonized feeling os the fond parents.  May God forgive the latter for their dark complicity in the murder of their child! [and grandchild]

      Bishop Coxe, of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York, struck the right chord in his recent pastoral letter.  He says:--

      "I have heretofore warned my flock against the blood guiltiness of ante-natal infanticide.  If any doubts existed heretofore, as to the propriety of my warnings on this subject, they must now disappear before the fact that the world itself is beginning to be horrified by the practical results of the sacrifices to Moloch, which defile our land.  Again I warn you that they who do such things cannot inherit eternal life.  If there be a special damnation for those 'who shed innocent blood,' what must be the portion of those who have no mercy upon their own flesh?"

      It is clearly the duty of the County Medical Society to disown Dr._______, if guilty, and to make an emphatic public protest against his acts, whether it attempt to procure his conviction and punishment, or not.  It should do this for its own sake, and that of the community.  Right here, in professedly Christian Massachusetts, were the crime of induced abortion is perhaps more frequent than anywhere else in the world, and where public opinion, stringent on so many points of morality, is unaccountably lax on this, should the brave Christian work begin of stemming the torrent of evil, that it may not gain such strength and volume as to overflow and devastate the world.  Why are philanthropists and good men so timid?  Do they love their own ease and pecuniary interests more than they do the cause of virtue and righteousness in the earth?  Do they forget that the career of the professed follower of Christ is to be one of continual warfare, and the he is not to regard even life itself in the service of his Master?  Significant indeed is that passage in the Apocalypse which speaks of the "fearful," in company with the "unbelieving," and with "liars" and "murderers," as receiving the final punishment described under the dreadful image of a lake burning with fire and brimstone.

      In conclusion, we earnestly request our brethren to whose jurisdiction the case under consideration belongs, to shake off their apathy, and set an example worthy of being imitated by every medical society in the country.

---------

      Christmas and New Year's are occasions for editorial as for other friendly salutations.  Every advent of advanced thought and work has in itself the element of a higher progress still; every change from an effete December, even of professional attainment, to a renewal of vigor, gives earnest of grander future, to help towards which is the duty of all, though its full completion none living may see.[!]

      This Journal rounds the new corner in time, to find before it, we trust, even a wider field of usefulness.  It has already lived down ridicule; it has assailed even to their fall more than one wrong and abuse; and it has combined a very powerful opposition to the over-conservatism of disbelievers in medical improvement.  Its work, however, has but just begun.  There are a score or more of professional deformities here at home, and elsewhere many others, already ticketed for admission to treatment; and, if ordinary pressure does not suffice for their cure, the knife will be resorted to with unfaltering hand.  The personality of those coming to grief will be wholly lost sight of; to us they are merely unfortunate patients requiring the probe, or still more unfortunate delinquents demanding discipline.

      To our friends we send a kindly greeting; we shall have, willingly, no enemies.  In the name of the Society we extend to all fellow-workers an invitation to join with it in contributing to the common harvest.  p 62-64.

 

Proceedings of the Society:

15th reg. meeting, August 10, 1869  HRS absent. [only 5 pages of proceedings. HRS absence mad for short meeting or short write up?]

      Dr. Bixby exhibited a pathological speciment from a case of PREGNANCY AT TERM COMPLICATED BY A FIBRO-CYSTIC TUMOR OF THE UTERUS, and read its history; the specimen consisting of the entire uterus and its appendages, removed by abdominal section by Dr. H.R. Storer, the case being, it is believed, the first in which this operation has ever been performed during the puerperal state.  [published in Oct. 1869 Journal]

      The latter portion of Dr. Bixby's paper referred to the use of chloroform instead of ether in pelvic operations, and was commented upon by several of the gentlemen present.  Dr. Warner remarked that he was able to confirm all that Dr. Bixby had written upon the subject and stated that Dr. Storer, who had always considered chloroform preferable to ether in obstetric practice, had now concluded to resume its use in surgery. p. 67

      The President reminded the gentlemen that they were venturing on dangerous ground, to speak thus freely of the comparative disadvantages of employing sulphuric ether, her in Boston. p. 68.

16th reg. meeting, August 17, 1869 

      Dr. Storer read a paper upon FISSIPAROUS GENERATION IN THE HUMAN SPECIES; an explanation, perfectly consistent with the doctrines of science as applied to Comparative Embryology, being thus afforded of the genesis and true character of double monsters, whch heretofore had baffled elucidation.

      Dr. Storer's paper gave rise to considerable discussion, it being the opinion of the members that his views were evidently the correct ones.

      Dr. Nye had always been inclined, with the mass of the profession, to consider cases like .. to be instances of conjoinment in utero of two separate foetuses.  The arguments adduced by Dr. Storer, however, were entirely subversive of that view, and pointed moreover to an entirely different causation from that suggested by Dr. Fisher, of Sing Sing, N.Y., in several late volumes of the Transactions of the New York State Medical Society.

      Dr. Warner coincided with the remarks of Dr. Nye.  He had himself supposed the opinion ordinarily held of these interesting abnormalities could not be questioned.  He was now satisfied, however, that it was erroneous, and believed that the true explanation of the phenomenon had at last been reached.  p. 76-77.

"The Demands upon Every Thoughtful Physician to Give Closer and More Intelligent Heed to the Diseases Peculiar to Women." The Annual Address for 1870. By Winslow Lewis, President of the Society. [read before the Society, Jan. 4, 1870] February, 1870, 77-88.

      After attaining the ordinary terminus of human life, and after all aspirations for professional honors had ceased, you were pleased to call me into the chair of this young Society, to preside at its meetings.  The proffer was accepted most reluctantly, but most gratefully.  It was received as a tribute, but perhaps a very unwise one on your part, to an old practitioner, by a younger generation,--to him who, in a social and friendly aspect at least, has ever had in his heart the prosperity and honor of the profession.  I could give you nothing in return, could promise nothing, but my presence.  This I have fulfilled.  There was also a strong collateral feeling and motive which induced me to assume the position, for I felt a great personal interest in one who was peculiarly foremost in the movement of your organization.  He was a younger professional brother, whose active mind and determined resolution would actuate and carry out whatever he might deem promotive of the special science in which he has so preeminently excelled.[HRS obviously.  Probably tribute was not written by HRS, contrary to his 1901 claim that "the presidential annual addresses of Dr. Winslow Lewis as well, were written by me,"]

      ... It seems impossible that Mr. G. could have been conscious of the true character of the doctrine to which he has lent his countenance.  Be this as it may, it is well known that our secretary has a certain persuasive way of his own, when forced to take part in any controversy, and we may be assured that if his rapier is drawn it will be very apt to find the breast of his adversary. p.80-81 [HRS writing or Lewis?]

      7th.  The Editorials are bold, manly, fair, and candid.  "Having nothing to extenuate or set down aught in malice," neither have the editors been "addicti jurare in verba magistri."  The senior editor [Lewis]is but a fiction, as a writer "stat nominis umbra."  As an endorser, however, he is proud to be the editorial sponsor.

      8th. Among the valuable appliances of the Society are diagrams elucidating the phenomena of uterine disease, and also a complete collection of the instruments employed in uterine surgery.

      9th.  And, lastly, I must not neglect to mention the opportunities which are now afforded, in a measure through the leading spirits of the Society, of studying uterine disease upon a scale never before possible in New England.  I refer to the hospitals established by the good Franciscan Sisters.  That of St. Elizabeth, within the city limits, is accomplishing a great deal of good; but particularly would I speak of St. Francis' Hospital, as Somerville, in which we are meeting today through the kind invitation of the Sister-Superior.  p. 81

      The Society now met together is, it has been ascertained, the first active association of gynaecologists, as distinguished from accoucheurs, as yet in existence, and this centralization of research and labor has developed the fact that there is everywhere about us "a demand for material hitherto uncollected, and a supply of material capable of an excellent purpose."  The Society aims to supply these needs. p. 82

      I myself, as is very generally known, am an old man; in the medical and surgical harness before many gentlemen now in active practice were born.  I have passed through all the several stages of professional opinion in my estimate of the claims, the value, the respectability even of gynaecology.  When I commenced life, no such thing as special diseases, as such, peculiar to the female, and unshared by the other sex, was dreamed off[sic].  It was known that women had tumors, it was true, and that they were sometimes uterine, and sometimes ovarian, but no one had yet claimed that they could be differentially diagnosticated from diseases of the spleen, liver, or kidney, and , still less, from each other.  The true character of the menstrual function, and its wonderful influence upon the whole general economy of women, had been surmised, no doubt; but so far as a scientific demonstration was concerned they were all unknown.  The speculum had not yet been resuscitated from the ashes of Pompeii, and the uterine sound, that attenuated prolongation of the human finger, though known to the ancients, had been for ages forgotten.  The uterine cavity was a crypt whose entrance was sealed, and so, for all scientific exploration, was the vagina also.  Just as indeed has always been, for all practical purposes, the rectum, so important in the relation its diseases hold to those of the other pelvic viscera, until the late discovery, by the Secretary of this Society, of that simple method of exploration and treatment, in the female, so easy, so interesting, and so perfectly efficient, with which his name will pass down in honorable association to the physicians and surgeons of all future time. [HRS did you write this?!]

      In my youth, large numbers of women, old and young, were hopelessly bedridden, and hundreds of others, known to be invalid, were permitted to die of diseases now known to be easily, and indeed certainly, curable, without an effort being made to save them, simply because physicians did not know how to examine them, did not dare to attempt it, would not have understood the nature of the disease had they found it, nor have known how to treat it, had they ascertained its character.

      Since then, everything has changed, and how greatly!  The fear of proposing an examination has given way to the more rational ways of thinking of a more enlightened, and, let us hope, a more moral age.  The fact is beginning to become acknowledged, and to be appreciated, that the diseases of all special regions of the body, whether organic or functional, are governed by the same general principles, and that there is no more real mystery about the cradle of mankind, than about the brain, the heart, the lungs, the teeth, the skin; and, strangest of all, that there exists a latent, but still very appreciable, sympathy between all the other organs of the body, in the female, and those of the pelvis, by which a thousand distant lesions, at first sight perfectly idiopathic, are found to be wholly secondary; neuralgias or neuropathies, stubbornly resistant to direct treatment, but under appropriate measures yielding like wax to a flame.

      These are general statements, to the truth of which, assent must be given by all at all cognizant with the subject.  And yet in practice, how continually do we still see them denied or forgotten!  One would think that the appreciation felt by every physician of the female members of his own family, so dear to him, would lead to a general application among patients of those measures which experience has now proved of such inestimable value.  Alas for poor human nature! and alas, too, that the petty motives which sway toward the bad, as well as toward the good, all mankind, should be found to prevail even among medical men!  An ultra-conservatism, with its bad logic, and its worse selfishness; a dislike to acknowledge that the golden age is before, rather than behind, us; a disinclination to accept from mere boys, as we older men are but too apt to consider them, the priceless treasures that they offer us from the mines of their hard-acquired knowledge; the fear of ridicule by our fellows; and, still worse, the determination not to confess that we have been all along in the wrong,--these are the grounds upon which so many of us still allow our most interesting patients to linger in hopeless and most poignant suffering, however patiently, or to perish from causes, not to detect and remove which it is simply cruel, abominable, infamous.

      I know, that for speaking so strongly as I have done, I may be censured by many of my older friends, and perhaps by some of my younger brethren also.  If so, I can only say, that I am sorry for them,.  I am, however, and I do not hesitate to confess it, a convert to the new doctrines, and I state only that which I have seen.  If any endeavor to find in this but evidence of second childishness, or dotage, I can only pity their stubbornness and hardness of heart.  Having eyes, they see not; having ears, they do not hear, neither do they understand.

      To bering the remarks thus far made, to a practical working, every-day lesson; who is there in practice however skilled, who does not every little while have a female patient about whose case he feels some doubt?  He hesitates about proposing a consultation, for fear he should alarm his patient, confess his ignorance, or lose the case.  He continues to trust to nature for a cure, knowing in his heart, however, all the time, that the more chronic the disease becomes, the less likely will recovery bet to take place.  He hopes against hope, that the accession of the grand climacteric, which is perhaps a dozen years away, may bring improvement, although he knows perfectly well that it is a critical period, fraught with an increase of danger.  He herein performs a mean, pitiful act, which he would scout in any other man, and, did he not steel his conscience to it by frequent repetition, which he would condemn even in himself.

      Why, then, do men continue in such evil doing?  There seems no answer to this, that can be given, unless to say, that it is the fashion,--an evil custom far "more honored in the breach than in the observance."  If the Gynaecological Society should effect nothing more than to bring the profession to a true sense of this but too prevalent enormity, it will have accomplished a most excellent work.

      Where, however, an active interest is felt in the diseases, to an advancement of the knowledge of which, by the words of our constitution, we are devoted, there occur too often errors of diagnosis both direct and differential.  Is this fact, however, any argument against that measure of study and research which is to make such errors less frequent, less possible, and less excusable?  Their occurrence at any time is in great part owing to the prevalent ignorance upon the whole subject.  With an access of light, dark corners will be illumined, the mists of effrontery and conceit, which have so long exaggerated into giants the petty cavillers at progressive specialties, will disappear, and the mortality lists, the true test in this matter, be very materially lessened.

      There is one piece of advice I would give to those who, slow to be convinced that they have been wrong, or are still so, may yet desire to act in this matter as befits the honorable profession to which they belong; and that is, to look at the general aspect of questions with which they are not too familiar, instead of at their minute and often perplexing details.  There are gentlemen, for instance, who spend much time and many words in the endless discussion regarding the respective merits of ether and chloroform, who yet, in practice, neglect to employ anaesthesia, by any agent, for the relief of the pangs of parturition, the spasmodic strictures of whatever mucous canal, to relax the tonicity of a doubtful abdomen, or to prevent, to a delicate moral sense, the shock of a necessary personal examination.  There are others who will quarrel about the value of the several methods of reducing chronic uterine inversion, and yet allow a patient to sink to her grave from exhaustion, for want of any attempt to reduce this lesion.  And there are still a great many who discuss the claims of the more prominent champions of ovariotomy, permitting, nevertheless, all of their own patients, who are afflicted with cystic disease, to go the way so many have untimely trod, because they have not the courage to operate themselves, or the manliness to advise that it should be done by others.

      And, worse that all this, there are but too many, who, by their carelessness, their silence, or their cowardice, directly or indirectly encourage that scourge and hellish offence of the land, the induction of criminal abortion.  Woe to him, who, by word or deed, in commission or omission of either, lends himself to this work accursed of the Lord!

      But I have said enough, I think, to vindicate the work of this Society, and to prove my hearty desire to co-operate therein.  I only trust that my words may sink deep into the hearts of all to whom they may come.  We may meet with rebuffs, and we must expect them, but "Truth is mighty, and will prevail." p. 83-88,

 

"The Gynaecological Society of Boston and Women Physicians:" A Reply to Mr. William Lloyd Garrison.* Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, February, 1870, 95-99.  Toner, p.13.

[*Immediately upon the copy of the N. Y. Independent containing Mr. Garrison's strictures being received, the above reply was forwarded to its editor, upon Jan. 1, 1870.  The letter from that gentleman, declining to allow the Society to publish its answer in the city where it had been assailed, is given in our editorial columns of the present month.  In thus refusing a simple act of justice,--for by no fair interpretation can our reply be distorted into anything beyond a statement of the true position of the Society, misrepresented by Mr. Garrison,--the editor of the Independent has belied its name.]

      In the supplement to the "New York Independent" for Dec. 23, 1869, there appeared a somewhat extended notice of a criticism in the Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston for September last.  This criticism, the tenor of which seems to have been misunderstood by its commentator, Mr. William Lloyd Garrison, was not so much of the practice of medicine by women, or of the employment of medical women by the community, as of an extraordinary argument for such practice and employment made by Mrs. Caroline H. Dall, of Boston; it having been broadly asserted by her, in print, that the presence of a physician in the chamber of "even the purest" invalid female, must necessarily induce in that female's mind thoughts and longings of an improper character.* [*See this Journal, November, 1869, p. 286.]

      It seemed to the gentleman composing the Gynaecological Society, devoted as this is to an advancement of the knowledge of the numerous and very important diseases peculiar to women, that an assertion of the kind alluded to was at once unfortunate, unkind, and untrue, and that it might possibly be the means of preventing some, however few, persons, who were not aware of the enthusiastic character of its author, and who might suppose that physicians shared her opinion, from consulting with their medical attendant as freely and as promptly as occasion might require.  At the request of the Society, therefore, its secretary endeavored to state the facts in the case as concisely and as truthfully as possible, and his paper was published in its Journal.  There was the less hesitation in doing this, since Mrs. Dall had mentioned by letter that it was her desire that the statement she had made should elicit a free discussion.* [*See this Journal;. October. 1869, p. 222.]  Subsequently, comment upon the action of the Society in noticing Mrs. Dall's assertion was made in the periodical in which her article had appeared; but, though professedly editorial, this comment was of so low and personal a character that it could not be answered.  It was evidently not written by a lady of the known delicacy and honesty of Mrs. Dall. p. 96.

"In comparison with the great mass of the profession, there is hardly a physician of any note in this country who favors the movement: Atlee[Washington L.], of Philadelphia, Bowditch, of Boston, and perhaps half-a-dozen others, are all, and these, moreover, are gentlemen extremely impulsive, however high-minded and honorable.  The remaining few who are held up to us as representative men are mostly those who, for other reasons, are considered as technically irregular, or who seek the petty profit that may directly accrue from consulting with women, or who are paid indirectly by the surgical practice they receive from their fair associates, or who, like certain hospital attendants and college lecturers in New York and this city,[Who?] yield temporarily, unwillingly, and but partially, to the outside pressure, hoping that by so doing they may be able covertly to check the frenzy of the bacchantes of the present day. p. 97.

      The charge has been frequently made,--to its danger, indeed, we ourselves pointed many years since, in one of our earlier publications upon the subject of criminal abortion,--that there is an especial liability of women physicians becoming principals in that guilt.  That all medical men are immaculate in this respect, no physician will claim; but it will hardly be denied that the increased risk to which we have referred does exist.  It is unnecessary in the present connection to do more than refer to the fact.

      So far as concerns Mrs. Dall's new and repulsive argument, which is the only point they undertook to discuss, the members of the Gynaecological Society were united in condemning it, and there is probably no a reader of the "Independent," should he or she take the trouble to look it up, who will not do the same.  The venerable President of the Society, and our associate in the editorial conduct of its Journal, Dr. Winslow Lewis, well known for his previous courtesies to lady physicians, took no pains to conceal his disgust.  And Dr. Bowditch, to whom we have referred as for the present still giving nominal recognition to female practitioners, exclaimed, upon being shown the lady's denunciation of the purity of her own sex, that it was "perfectly outrageous for such a thought to have entered her mind," and that, "after it had done so, it should not have been loosed therefrom upon the community."  To-day he states to us that he as carefully repersued her article, and that he attaches to it the same stigma. p. 98-99.

      ... When he [Garrison] shall have read it, and appreciates to what scandalous doctrine he now seems to lend defence, he will probably recall the very pertinent old saying, that it is sometimes better to let sleeping dogs lie. p. 99

 

Garrison, William Lloyd

‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑

{gair'‑i‑suhn}

William Lloyd Garrison, b.  Dec.  12, 1805, d.  May 24, 1879, became to many of

his time the personification of the American ABOLITIONIST movement.  Initially a

proponent of moderate abolitionism while coediting (1829‑30) Benjamin Lundy's

weekly Genius of Universal Emancipation, Garrison soon began more vehement

attacks on slavery.  On Jan.  1, 1831, he published the first issue of the

Liberator, declaring slavery an abomination in God's sight, demanding immediate

emancipation, and vowing never to be silenced.  The Liberator, in continuous

weekly publication through 1865, always served as a personal sounding board for

Garrison's views, but it was also widely regarded as an authoritative voice of

radical Yankee social reform in general.

In 1833, Garrison presided over the meeting that organized the American

Anti‑Slavery Society, and throughout its existence that society was closely

identified with Garrison's activities and opinions.  Always a believer in "moral

suasion," Garrison generally insisted that slavery would be abolished only when

the mass of white Americans experienced a revolution in conscience.  Therefore,

he called for sustained programs of agitation that aimed to convert grass‑roots

public opinion in favor of black emancipation and race equality.

Until the late 1830s, Garrison cooperated easily with most other major

abolitionists, but by 1840 important figures like James G.  Birney and Elizur

Wright, Jr., had broken with him. Garrison's espousals of anticlericalism,

perfectionism, radical pacifism, and women's rights drove these individuals from

the American Anti‑Slavery Society.  Others, however, such as Wendell Phillips

and Lydia Maria Child, defended Garrison's radical doctrines and took over the

society.  In 1842, Garrison took the even more controversial position that

Northerners should disavow all allegiance to the Union, since the Constitution

protected slavery.  Throughout this decade, however, he and most of his

associates upheld pacifist creeds and insisted that slavery should not be ended

violently.

During the 1850s, Garrison became less opposed to violence as a means for ending

slavery.  He condoned violent resistance to the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, hailed

John Brown's 1859 raid on Harper's Ferry, and in 1861 announced his support for

war against the seceding Southern states.  Throughout the Civil War, Garrison

agitated for rapid and complete emancipation of the slaves;  after the war he

continued to insist on black equality and the creation of freedman aid programs

in the old slave states.

James Brewer Stewart

 

Bibliography: Kraditor, A.S., Means and Ends in American Abolitionism:  Garrison

and His Critics on Strategy and Tactics (1989);  Merrill, Walter M., Against

Wind and Tide:  A Biography of William Lloyd Garrison (1963);  Thomas, John L.,  Toner, p.13.

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Feb. 1870, 108-128.

      The communication from Prof. Simpson, of Edinburgh, which we to-day publish, in answer to the uncalled for, ungenerous, and unjust attack by Prof. Jacob Bigelow, of this city, will be read with interest by all, whether within or without the profession, who delight to see false currency nailed to the counter.  Our townsman seems to have stated what he must have known, or at least, ought to have known, was unfounded.

      Possibly, it is true, as we intimated in our December number, the course of Dr. Bigelow may be attributed to the forgetfulness of age.  This excuse, however, cannot be urged for the editor [apparently Dr. Parks-see below] of the journal who welcomed the tirade to his columns, with a preface of fulsome laudation [find article and preface], none the bettered by his subsequent display of puny wit at the expense of the "be-knighted"* [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Dec. 2, 1869, p.319.] Scotch professor.  Nor can it avail those suborned claqueurs, so ready always for their prompter's not, who so assiduously ladled that week's milk and water into the runnels of the secular press.

      As Dr. Parks, known by us all for his largeness of soul, and love of fair play, will of course hasten to copy Prof. Simpson's reply to Dr. Bigelow, into the journal of which he is the responsible editor, we would not be behind in courtesy.  We therefore present below, the criticism of Dr. Bigelow as adorned by Dr. Parks, asking pardon from the former gentleman if we allow his postilion to precede him. p 109

      "Colleges which make use of such means to compel patronage should be classed among the irregular schools, and their courses of lectures so recognized by other institutions.  It is dirty work, gentlemen, and the sooner you discard it the better."* [*Cincinnati Medical Repertory, December, 1869, p. 383.] p 114.

      Dealing, as they do, with womanly matters, the members of this Society have yet no desire to measure tongues with even the least loquacious of that interesting sex, nor will the Journal, save gro grave reason, launch itself upon the stormy sea of woman's abstract rights or wrongs.  Threr are occasions, however, when silence ceases to be golden; such an one is that to which we have called attention in our reply to Mr. William Lloyd Garrison, the universal agitator, published in our pages the present month. [This unflattering description of Garrison probably means that HRS was no friend of him before the Civil War either.] In that reply we deal with Mr. G., and his championship of a disgusting libel upon "even the purest women;" in what we are now writing we have to do with another and entirely different outrage upon the community,--the favoritism and injustice of a partisan or venal press.

      The editor of the New York "Independent," in its issue of 23d December last, permitted Mr. Garrison to occupy nearly three columns of its space with an article we will not say was composed of the veriest balderdash.  It was nominally in defence of Mrs. Dall and her peculiar doctrine, to which we call attention in this Journal for September and November, but in reality in advocacy of female physicians.  The Gynaecological Society was the target at which this practised marksman was cajoled to fly his paper pellets, and they were indeed those of a school-boy. p. 115

      "As I would not promise to withdraw such notice form the [New York City] Directory, unless the editor of the 'Medical Register of the City of New York' would allow me to put such a notice in that publication, which request I have been twice refused, a motion for my expulsion was made by a St. Louis mimber [American Ophthalmological Society], and 'willingly seconded' by a New York member, and was carried,--only Dr. Hay,[!] of Boston, voting against it. p. 121.

      In answer to Dr. ***, and the many who acutely feel what he so well expressed ...  The careful study of cases, the reasoning from effects to their cause, and the publication of these ... will make a man favorably and honorably known, and usually give all the practice that he cares to attend.

      As regards Dr. Holcombe's case, it would seem that he is in the same predicament as Drs. Brickell, Beard, Choppin, and Bruns, at New Orleans, and Dr. A. K. Gardner, at New York.  These gentlemen all appear to have violated, however unintentionally, one or another article of the code to whcih they had of their own free will subscribed, and by which they were therefore bound.  In each instance they have very naturally been annoyed at receiving discipline, and in each have spurned the exhortation to return to the confines of the fold.

      We were well aware of the existence of the Louisville Obstetrical Society, ... 

      With regard to the question of any precedence in lecturing between the excellent Dr. Newman, of Louisville, and ourselves,--we do not care to discuss merely personal matters.  As a matter of history, however, it may be stated that while Dr. N. delivered his course of nine lectures, upon the surgical diseases of women, during the fall of 1865, to a class of students at the University of Louisville, "probably more than six months before Dr. Storer's lectures were delivered," we ourselves gave a course of much greater length, upon the same subject, to the students of the Berkshire Medical College, in October of that year; that is to say, at the same time with Dr. Newman, if not before him.  ... We would give Louisville all the credit that is justly her due; our old friend, Dr. Henry Miller, we have always considered one of the best gynaecologists, as well as accoucheurs, in this country; but then her sons, native or by adoption, must not be too avaricious or exclusive in their claims. p 124-5.

      The same remark [lack of originality] applies to the case of the new journal now published at Louisville, under the title of "The American Practitioner," by our friends Drs. Parvin and D. W. Yandell.  Excellent as they are in their material, these two journals, in their arrangement of it, and in their type, are but imitations, and lack, so far, the charm of individuality. p 127

      ... The settlement of Dr. Knapp in this country marks an epoch as distinctly defined as did the coming of Agassiz in natural science, and it is delightful to see the kindly feeling that has been displayed regarding him by the leaders in ophthalmology. p 127

 

 

 

[Holmes wrote in Atlantic Monthly tribute to Wyman " But of all his contributions to science no one compares for boldness and brilliancy with the Description fo a Double Foetus, and the illuatration of the formation of that and similar monstrosities by the action of bar-magnets on iron filings.  The way in which "polar force," as it had been vaguesly called, might be supposed to act in the arrangement of the parts of a forming embyro ...]

 

"Reproduction by Fissuration, or Longitudinal Division, in the Human Species." Read before American Academy of Arts and Sciences, September 14, 1869. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, March 1870 144-154.  Toner, p.13.

      ... but in a real fissuration or vertical subdivision, more or less complete, of the cerebro-spinal axis at a very early period of foetal life, as the result of disease, if we choose to call it so, but, at any rate, of some interference with the normal process of development, with a subsequent regular or irregular evolution of the two lateral planes.

      To attempt to explain the exact character of this interference is not my intention; indeed, it will very likely never be fathomed.  The remarkable fact has been pointed out that spermatozoa in the human species, and probably also in those lower, are sometimes bicephalous.* [*It was my impression that the above fact was made known to the profession by Dr. Marion Sims; but this gentleman, happening to accompany me to the meeting of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at which my paper was read, informs me that such was not the case.  Subsequent reflection has recalled to my mind that the bicephalous spermatozoon was first described and demonstrated to me by Prof. Salisbury, at his office in Cleveland, Ohio[Why was HRS there?], early in May 1867.[Is there any way to account for this unnecessary reference to Sims, other than name dropping?]]  It may be surmised by some that impregnation of a normal, primitively single ovum, by the double entrance of such a monstrous cell would result in duplicity of foetal formation. p. 147.

      To the theory of the double original cicatricula, as expressed by Dr. Fisher, and alleged to have been observed by Lereboullet and others, there are equally valid objections.

      Granting, as Prof. Jeffries Wyman has urged upon me, that if there were originally two primitive traces, actually distinct, and symmetrically disposed, the union of like parts with like would be "quite probable," there still remain the arguments, as fatal to this theory as to that of conjoined twins, that we have unity of sex, decussation of nerves, and a symmetrical transposition of viscera, which is a very different thing from mere duplication. ... p. 151

      Dr. Wyman, that whom there lives no more competent authority, writes me thus, basing of course, his objections upon Lereboullet's assertions:--

      Were there no direct observations on early embryos to the contrary, fissuration would be a most natural hypothesis to explain double monstrosities.  I might sum up my objections to it as follows; 1st, No cases have been observed in which fissuration was seen to take place; and, 2d, Many cases have been observed where two cicatriculae, or two primitive stripes, or partially double primitive stripes have been seen.  I am ny no means disposed to deny the possibility of fission; it certainly has analogies in its favor, but as far as I know, it has not been observed.  The subject is intensely interesting, and deserves far more attention that it has yet received." p. 152-3.

 

Proceeding. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, March, 1870.

17th regular meeting, Sept. 7, 1869.

      Dr. Warner, while testifying to the excellence of the swathe employed by Dr. Storer, compared most of the appliances usually resorted to, to an attempt by a man to lift himself from the ground by his waistband with his own hands.. p 131.

18th regular meeting, Sept. 21, 1869.

      With reference to the general question of the use of pessaries, Dr. S. could only reiterate, what he had stated at a previous meeting of the Society, that he had far less confidence in them than formerly, and removed twenty where he inserted one. p 134.

      Dr. Storer also exhibited the GYNAECOLOGICAL BLACKBOARD of his device, for use in instruction to students and during office consultation with medical men.  Upon one side there is outlined, of life size, the abdominal region, for demonstrating the location and relations of tumors and other lesions of the several portions of the sterno-pubal space.  upon the other, a cross section of the trunk, showing the relative position of the pelvic organs.

      He had employed the blackboard with great satisfaction for several years, and he now drew attention to it, in consequence of encomiums passed upon it during the present week by Prof. Quackenbush, of Albany,during a visit to this city. p. 134-5.

      ... The sac was treated by carbolized tents, and the patient rapidly recovered without miscarriage; this immunity probably resulting from the fact that the operation was delayed till the time corresponding with what would have been a menstrual period , if the patient had not been pregnant, had passed.* [*The patient, ... went safely to her full time , and made a good convalescence.] p. 137

      Dr. Storer had seen several marked cases of a similar simulation of miscarriage.  The condition was of very great interest scientifically, and also in relation to the question of malpractice.  There could be no question that many physicians have fallen into the error of taking it for granted, in cases of vaginal hemorrhage during gestation, that the embryo has been necessarily detached or expelled, or, in cases of twins, that this has occurred with both of them, and by proceeding to the use of a sound or sponge tent have induced the abortion that otherwise might not have taken place.

      A like amount of caution is also necessary in many cases where miscarriage is undoubtedly threatened or has commenced.

      Dr. S. had often been able to cut short the abortive process, even where the os had begun to dilate and the membranes to protrude, by ... p. 141-142.

      Dr. Storer stated that ordinarily after confinement at the full period, access to the wife for several weeks was denied to husbands by the nurse, and that indeed the presence of the lochia, and the changes that were undergoing in the uterine tissues by the disintegration and discharge of effete muscular fibre during involution, would probably be sufficient to prevent impregnation at so early a period, except as a very occasional occurrence.

      Dr. S. also read a letter from Prof. Jeffries Wyman of Cambridge, relating to his own theory, advanced at a late meeting of the Society (and presented on the next page), in explanation of the causation of double monstrosity by fissiparous division, such as obtained in the adult of some of the lower animals.  p. 142-3.

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, March, 1870, 167-190.

      We are glad that the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal" has followed our suggestion with regard to the propriety of inserting in its columns Sir James Simpson's reply to Dr. Jacob Bigelow, published by us last month, and we do not share in the general laughter that our contemporary should have preferred to wait a fortnight for the London simultaneous issue [of JGSB?] rather than copy from us.  Under all the circumstances, Dr. Parks' course was a very natural one, and therefore should not be ridiculed.

      We are also glad that our successive numbers have thus far received, without a single exception, the cordial endorsement of our brother,--to our very assertion and comment there seems to have been his sincere amen.  All over the world, silence is acknowledged to mean consent,[!!] and it is, of course, a great satisfaction to us to know that the respect we entertain for our neighbor is so fully reciprocated.  Long may he preserve this present friendly discretion, which is always the better part of valor. p 167.

      The "Ether Controversy," twenty years ago so fierce, and then for so long a time seemingly at rest, is again prominently before the profession; this time under circumstances which will ensure for it an authoritative and permanent answer.  Dr. Jacob Bigelow and Sir James Simpson have collided with violence, and Boston has had therein to yield to Edinburgh,--a fact apparent enough to the readers of the last number of this Journal.  The blow of the Scotch professor, while it silenced his assailant, disposed withal of that peculiarly Boston notion, namely, that to the late Dr. Wm. T.G. Morton was due the IDEA of effecting anaesthesia by the vapor of sulphuric ether.

      In an editorial in November, we stated our belief that this was not the case, whatever credit was due to Dr. Morton for his unintended services to humanity while endeavoring to secure for himself a purely selfish aggrandizement.  We little though then how quickly the whole question would be brought before us.  At the twenty-seventh regular meeting of the Society, held on Feb. 1st, 1870, the day on which Sir James Simpson's communication was formally read, there were presented printed and written communications from a committee of gentlemen interested in the double project of soliciting aid for the family left by Dr. Morton, and of erecting a monument to his memory, and who were desirous of obtaining the assistance and endorsement of the Gynaecological Society. p 168.

      We would not detract from any praise that may justly belong to Morton, nor would we give to Jackson any credit not rightly his own.  But it was a shame that when the monument publicly dedicated to the Great Idea of all Medical and Surgical History, whose work it has ever been to heal tuto, cito, et JUCUNDE, and commemorative alike of man's need and God's mercy, was erected in our midst, Dr. Charles T. Jackson was not only not referred to, either by the surgeon of the Massachusetts Hospital who transferred the statue [identify him], not by the medical mayor who received it, but he was not permitted to receive even the poor compliment of an invitation to be present, identified as he was, no matter to how slight an extent it might have been, with the discovery.  Who indeed, unless a madman, would willingly be a prophet, and yet remain to be honored at home? [what does this mean?]

      When we come to present the proof that when Dr. Morton had milked Boston dry of its testimonials, he spoke of this respectable city with derision; that when he had secured the casket and purse from the Massachusetts General Hospital, and had ensnared its attendants, past, present, but not, we trust, to come, into a committal of themselves in his favor, he turned upon them in scorn and brought them into contempt; and that when the language of the elder Warren had been distorted into an apparent endorsement of the charlatan rather than the scientist, the recipient of this benefit but made merry over his benefactor's grave, --then will the custodian* [*Not Charles T. Jackson.] of a certain human skeleton probably regret that he has not another, in identity equally defined, to hang in the corner of the Medical College in its stead.  Were their former owners in the flesh, it would now hardly do to confront them. p. 172 [need to get on top of this!]

      Relative to the part of Edinburgh in the history of anaesthesia, we have received letters during the past month, and listened to homilies, from gentlemen whom we greatly respect, and from whom we regret to differ.

      We are pointed to the fact that ether was not used in midwifery till after its value had been proved in surgery, and to the endorsement, written in 1847, by Sir James Simpson, of Morton's claim.

      With regard to the latter point, it need merely be said that of Morton's character for veracity Prof. Simpson had at that time no knowledge; and, moreover, that whatever opinion any one then held, in the turmoil of the conflict, is worthless in the light of subsequent evidence, if unconfirmed.  Dr. Bowditch, in his os interesting tale of the sponge,[get this] with him a labor of loving memory of his brother Nathaniel's interest in this question and in the Massachusetts Hospital, with whose reputation for clinical teaching his own is so indissolubly blended, should certainly grant to others the privilege he so stoutly claimed for his brother,--the right to change one's mind.

      As to Edinburgh's merely imitating Boston, it might be supposed from the tenor of the criticism, that the pangs of labor were here, at the present moment, a thing unknown, and that the primal curse were as fully removed from hence, as unkindly people affect to believe is the recognition of Jesus Christ as the Saviour of mankind [What does this mean?].  We venture, however, no unsafe risk if we assert that, from the ungrounded dread of chloroform and the personal disgust at ether, here obtaining upon the part of accoucheurs, there is probably no other large city in the civilized world where there is still so much unalleviated suffering in labor.  We have made many inquiries upon the point, and have no doubt as to the truth of the assertion.  The charge, therefore, against Edinburgh comes from us with a very ill grace. p 172-3.

It is easy, in these days, to make light of long-past, and partially forgotten, obstacles, but even her i this city, in the early history of anaesthesia, to attempt to relieve the pains of childbed was thought to savor almost of impiety.  While then, we honor, her in Boston, Dr. N.C. Keep, "who was the first American to employ anaesthesia in childbirth,"* [*Eutokia: ...] and Dr. Walter Channing, "who was the first American to urge its general use for this end,"*[*same] we must not forget Sir J.Y. Simpson, "identified with every obstetric advance of the age,"*[*same] whose example in employing an anaesthetic in midwifery our city but followed.  Gentlemen may amuse themselves and the profession by publishing a "chloroform martyrology," as the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal" and the "New York Medical Journal" are at this moment attempting to do, but it amounts to no more than would be obtained if the world were ransacked for the records of death from any other of the more powerful drugs of the materia medica.  And, besides, the fact must not be blinked away that occasionally a death has ocurred (sic) from the use of sulphuric ether, here in Boston. p 173-4.

      True to its traditions, the Massachusetts Medical Society, through its Councillors, still bows down and worships the idol which its own hands in so great part have reared. p 174

      The event has proved that we were not mistaken.  The packed Committee, whose appointment, presided over as it was by the Dean of the Medical College, was the merest farce, has rendered the anticipated report, recommending that no change be made.  The absence of the Dean, Dr. Calvin Ellis, from the Councillors' meeting, bears too much the appearance of an attempt by this manoeuvre to save the Committee from the odium which it cannot, however, escape. p. 174

      We do not propose, however, to let the matter rest here.  We wield a potent weapon, and we know its power.  Cabals may try to intimidate, but it is only the coward who yields.  A greater coward is he who prefers being branded as such by an honest pen, to rendering to an injured man the justice for which he himself, were the tables but turned, would so piteously whimper.  It was brave in Dr. Lyman, the Chairman of the Board of Censors that rejected Dr. Bixby, to speak so kindly as he did at the meeting of the Councillors.  It was not brave in Dr. Williams, the President of the American Ophthalmological Society, who owes more than perhaps any other Boston physician to the favor of members of the profession in other parts of the country, to defend, as he did, the inquisitorial system which would defraud those strangers, did they come to live with us, of their very birthright. p 175-6.

      These arguments, if underrated here, will be found to weigh at Washington, when, in a very few weeks, the American Medical Association rejects the credentials of the delegates from the two institutions which have conspired to bring its code and its authority into contempt.  "What!" we were soberly asked, but a month or two ago, by a very influential physician [Who?], "do you really suppose that we Boston men care a pin for the authority of the American Association?  We can attend to our own affairs, and as for coercion,--bah!"  We replied then, as now, that events will prove.  If we do not wholly misjudge the American profession, its National Association is alike a refuge for the oppressed and a judge for the guilty, and with power, too, fully sufficient to enforce its decrees.  To it we confidently appeal. [find out how this came out at AMA 1870]

      In charging the Massachusetts Medical Society with a disgraceful breach of the Code of Ethics of the American Medical Association, and with conniving, by the text of a portion of its organic law, at practices wholly at variance with the spirit of that code, we intimated that there were other grounds upon which it should receive the careful attention of the Association.

      To one of these we will now refer.

      By Article IV., Section 1st, of that portion of the Code of Ethics prescribing the Duties of Physicians to Each Other and to the Profession at Large, irregularities of practice, which are sufficiently well defined, are forbidden to members of the Association.  Their indulgence by a physician serves as sufficient reason for preventing his entrance into the Association; if already a member, they ensure his expulsion.

      To apply this rule to the Massachusetts Medical Society:  At the present moment, it tolerates in its ranks, and allows to them every privilege of fellowship, many persons whose irregularities are openly acknowledged, nay, are advertised by them as passports to the public favor.  These persons have even organized themselves into State Associations, one of whose objects it is to subvert y every means in their power the influence and standing of the regular profession.  In proof of our assertion, we point to the registers of the Homeopathic and Eclectic State Medical Societies of Massachusetts, and demand a comparison of the names thereon with those on the roll of the so-called Massachusetts Medical Society, to which it is the misfortune, we had almost said, of two of ourselves to belong, and in which we are compelled to remain, or else be branded as irregular.  Were it not so, we should long since have resigned in disgust. p. 178-9.

      We trust, sincerely, that the charge is unfounded, but it is certainly very unfortunate for the reputation of the hospital that one of its attendants, Dr. Williams, and he withal a specialist, and therefore liable to be viewed by very many of the profession as a superfluous ornament rather than a main pillar of the institution, should so persistently and so bitterly have opposed the grant by the city, and the location of the hospital, desired by its faithful superintendent, Dr. Walker.  Ophthalmologists, as we have before pointed out, just as asylum attendants, the cultivators of gynaecology, and all other special workers, are bound by peculiar ties to the profession at large, and by others, as peculiar, to their fellow-laborers in other departments.  These may be very firm; they may be very fragile.  It will not do to rashly test their strength.  It is no mark of wisdom for the eye to say to the brain, "What have I to do with thee, or what need have I of thee?"  THey are too near neighbors for that. p. 179-80.

      We would do all that we can to hasten that day.  The City Hospital wears its silken fetters with an easy grace, because they are self-imposed.  They were nearly broken, not so very long since, when Dr. Cheever, reprimanded for giving formal instruction in surgical anatomy to the students dissecting under his eye, an alleged usurpation of the province of the Professor of Surgery, resigned his position as Demonstrator at the College.  That he accepted the promotion then immediately offered him, and went back as an Adjunct Professor, was no eating of dirt,--it was a victory.  The Faculty could not afford to lose so valuable a servant, and therefore they paid his price.  Had they hesitated it would have cost them far more.

      To teach this lesson, even though it required him to postpone for a while the leading surgeonship of New England, and to defer for a little making the City Hospital what it will yet become, a second Bellevue, was at the time the duty of the gentleman to whom we have referred.* [*We refer above only to a circumstance that at the time was publicly known, and we do it without the knowledge of the gentleman spoken of, to whose great skill and devoted care we owe the life of a dear child [a child of HRS's?].  We have been abused, formerly and of late, for what has been termed the digging up of graveyards.  If ghosts do rise, however, it must be because they were not properly laid at rest.  We would not willingly wrong any individual or set of men, but we are in possession of a vast detail of interesting secret history, running back over half a century, which we have the right to make public, and we propose to do it.] It may prove to have been, after all, but reserving the seed for a soil that should be ploughed a trifle deeper by retributive justice, and enriched by the falling to dust of fossils thus upheaved. [???] p 181.

      History but repeats itself.  In the February number of the "New York Medical Journal" we read the following:

      "Dr. C.A. Robertson, the author of the criticism on 'The Last Illnes of Dr. Alden March,' which appeared in the January number of this Journal, has been removed from the position of Ophthalmic and Aural Surgeon in the Albany City Hospital by a unanimous vote of its Board of Governors.  His name has also been stricken from the list of lecturers in the Albany Medical College by the Faculty of the Institution."[Was HRS's removal mentioned in any Journal?  Check 1866 BMSJ closely.]

      ...

      Five years ago, by the advice of his friends, Drs. Agnew, Bumstead, and Hinton, Surgeons to the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, Dr. Robertson, a skilled ophthalmologist, settled in Albany, with a view to special practice.  Having secured the confidence of the profession and the community, he succeeded in effecting the organization of the Albany Eye and Ear Infirmary and in obtaining funds for its maintenance, and, very properly, was elected its Surgeon. [What wast he parallel for HRS?  The NE Hospital for Women?]

      The Albany City Hospital, like certain institutions in this neighborhood, was practically controlled by the Medical College, and disliking to see a professional charity existing in its vicinity independent of the sway of its masters, overtures were made for the juncture of the hospital and infirmary, upon certain conditions in favor of the latter, which it is alleged were never honorably carried out. [Is there a parallel juncture in the Mass. case?]

      A member of the College Faculty, who was also one of the hospital attendants, Dr. Armsby, took occasion, it is said to force a quarrel upon Dr. Robertson, and to lessen, so far as he might be able, his professional influence.[Parallel of "forcing a quarrel" most important!]  It is charged that this was done in an underhanded and cowardly way. [HRS probably believes same for the Ellis et al quarrel against HRS.]  Meanwhile Dr. Alden March, the great surgeon, died, being attended by Dr. Armsby, who immediately took pains to send by print and by letter to those most prominent in the profession, his version of the circumstances of the decease.

      Dr. Robertson, in the exercise of what he supposed a right, and on the ground of its scientific character, sharply criticised, in the "New York Medical Journal." Dr. Armsby's report, charging that Dr. March died from simple unrelieved retention of urine, and that stereographs of the late surgeon's bladder, copies of which, sent by Dr. Armsby,[doesn't HRS mean Dr. Robertson?] are in the possession of the Gynaecological Society, of which Dr. March was an Honorary Member, were got up, so to speak, for the purpose of covering a fatal error of judgment or neglect.

      For this unpardonable offence, his opponent, a member of the College Faculty,[compare Ellis, and perhaps others] while Dr. Robertson was simply a subordinate lecturer, [a la HRS] has secured his temporary disgrace.

      What, however, has been the act of which Dr. Robertson was really guilty?  We quote from his terrible letter to the Governors of the Albany City Hospital, [HRS probably wrote a similar one.  Check and get it.] published in the "Albany Argus" for January 24th:--[Did Boston press publish anything related to HRS "disgrace."]

      "The head and front of all my offending was a pamphlet.  I had opened the box of Pandora, and evils flew thick around.  I had exercised my right of criticism.  A thunderbolt was launched from the clear sky, charged to repletion with truth and eternal logic.  Then there appeared a scathed and blasted man, with pretence hanging in shreds about him, trying to hide himself away from the light, blazing wherever a pamphlet had fallen; and in banks, and counting-rooms, and parlors, he sought shelter, bemoaning the ingratitude of his race, and appealing piteously for protection from the terrible persecution, as he wailed the word, of a man who fearlessly proclaimed that, sometimes, ignorance in a physician is no less culpable than crime."

      The final result is not yet.  An Albany medical friend, uncommitted to either side of the deplorable controversy, writes us that penance[!] "of this kind seems poorly calculated to do Dr. Robertson any harm.  He has many powerful friends, whom his review seems to have called up.  The result of it all will probably be a reconstruction of the College Faculty, or a total breakup, and then a second school."

      We would draw no personal moral, nor make reference to a very parallel case that will suggest itself to many of our readers [find out what this is!  Surely it is HRS's own forced departure from Harvard.], but simply say, as we did in beginning, history repeats itself, alike in causes and in effects. p. 182-184.

      We would notice, also, one or two of the secular journals that catch our eye.  To the "New York Independent" we paid our respects last month.  The "Nation," published in the same city, is exerting a quiet but very appreciable influence upon the public, alike as regards political cast and temper, intellect and morals.  To hold the proper mean between the stubborn dogmatism that rejects every novelty of idea because it is new, and the pseudo-divine New England restlessness, so marked in matters of religion, which must cast away even treasures of great price because they date from before the birth of time, is no easy task in these days.  For its thoughtful tone, even though we may not assent to all that it holds incontrovertible, the "Nation" deserves great praise. p. 186.

      The American Tract Society sends us its various periodicals, so attractive in their dress and withal so pure in their influence.  With Dr. Cuyler, of Brooklyn, "we think the 'Sabbath at Home' is the best American magazine for Sunday reading we have ever seen.  It is lively without being frivolous, serious and spiritual without being dull.  Our children love it; so do we." p. 187  John is 11, Malcolm is 8.

      [Overland Monthly] ... while occasionally there is presented material of peculiar interest to the physician.  Such was the narrative, so fabulous and yet so true, based on the story of the perforated skull, whose living possessor most of us here have seen.  After those long years of waiting for the specimen, whose wanderings in life and in death he had so surely tracked, no wonder if Dr. H. J. B. should have had a peculiar nocturnal experience. [what was this experience?]

      The same fascinating occidental charm--for the West outvies the East in interest to us Americans--we find in the "Sunset Land," published by Lee & Shepard, of Boston, and written by our old friend, the Rev. Dr. John Todd, of Pittsfield.  This veteran author, so ridiculed by "Gail Hamilton" for his outspoken estimation of the milkless amazons of the present day, and especially for branding by his "Serpent in the Dove's Nest" the prevalent perversion of motherly instinct, has not forgotten the work to which his life has been so steadfastly devoted.  Many will laugh at such language as the following in a book of travels; but we wish there were more who used it: "God's great plans move on, and the roar of the ocean and the stern silence of the flinty mountains are waiting at his feet."

      Equally severe with Dr. Todd, in his remarks upon [against] criminal abortion, is Dr. Hutchins, of Philadelphia, in his edition of Swayne's "Obstetric Aphorisms," just published by Henry C. Lea.  "Husbands," he says, "seek it for their wives, libertines ask it for their mistresses, seducers seek it for the unhappy victims of their licentious passion, wives, ay, mother even, beg it for themselves."  These aphorisms of Swayne are many of them good; one of them in particular we would commend, just at the present moment, to the attention of the President of the Obstetrical Society of this city,[Buckingham no doubt!] as we understand that he is collecting authorities on the subject. It is upon post-partum hemorrhage, and reads as follows: "In all cases where there is any reason to apprehend hemorrhage, the pulse should be frequently felt, and the uterus examined.  The patient should be asked whether she feels any discharge running from her; and the napkin should be frequently removed and inspected."  An extract form Gooch is also given, which is particularly pertinent in the present connection: "The life of the patient depends on the man who is on the spot; he must stand to his gun.  A practitioner who is not fully competent to undertake these cases of hemorrhage can never conscientiously cross the threshold of a lying-in chamber." p 188-9.

      Reference to articles on Southern France--Mentone, the favorite wintering -place, in Southern France, of Dr. Henry Bennet, of London. "of peculiar interest to gynaecologists and the patients whom they may send to Europe, ..." p. 189  [Written more than two years before HRS traveled to these areas for his own convalescence.]

      Schiller's "Columbus"  ... Nature is linked with Genius in eternal bonds__

That which the one foretells, the other must fulfil!" p 190.

 

Proceedings. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, April, 1870.

19th regular meeting, Sept. 7, 1869.

      The Secretary read letters from Drs. J.D. Mitchell, of Jacksonville, Florida, ... p. 193

      The patient, sent from Provincetown to Dr. Storer, had been for several months at St. Elizabeth's Hospital. [no longer Franciscan Hospital, or was that a different one?]

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, April, 1870,

      ... Previous to relinquishing the practice of midwifery, eight years since, Dr. Storer had made it his rule always to administer chloroform to parturient patients, and this no matter whether the labor was a rapid one or no, or whether the patient had or had not organic disease of the heart or lungs; believing, as he did, that not only was it the physician's duty to relieve pain, here ordinarily so exquisite, and to lessen the risk to both other and child, as was done by the relaxation of voluntary muscles effected by anaesthetic, but that, for certain manifest reasons, chloroform was preferable for obstetric use to ether.  These reasons [chloroform better than ether for obstetrics] he had stated in a communication to the Massachusetts Medical Society in 1863.  His paper, however, was condemned by the Publishing Committee of that Society (as has been stated in another communication in this Journal*[November, 1869,p.309]), upon the alleged ground that its statements contained nothing new, but really because they were so obnoxious to the prejudice obtaining in Boston in favor of the exclusive use of ether.  It was therefore printed through another channel.[BMSJ and Reprinted as Eutokia.]  It was still his belief that it was the duty of physicians to administer an anaesthetic in childbirth, and that chloroform was the preferable agent for this purpose.

      As regards its use in surgery, Dr. S. had passed through several changes of opinion.  He had endeavored to decide the case dispassionately, and not to be influenced in any way by the excessive feeling regarding the subject existing here in Boston.  There could be no doubt that should a patient be lost here from chloroform, there would occur a temporary uproar; but he was not accustomed to allow the outcries of partisans to disturb his equanimity.

      He was satisfied that a mixture of chloroform with sulphuric ether, still so extensively employed, was more unsafe than chloroform alone, and that the same was true of the tincture or spirit of chloroform known as chloric ether. ... p 200-201.

      At a late meeting of the Society (third special meeting, June 2, 1869), Dr. Storer had stated that he was resuming the use of chloroform for the major pelvic operations, especially abdominal sections.* [see this Journal, January, 1870, p. 19.]  It would be noticed that hehad employed it in the case reported at the present meeting.  He was also returning to its use in more trivial cases, and was not sure but that he should entirely discard the use of ether, as has been done in almost every place in the world save Boston. ... p 202.

      Dr. Storer remarked that there was one fact connected with the history of the introduction of anaesthesia, the existence of which had not been sufficiently appreciated, even if known.  It was that, while the conception of ether as an anaesthetic clearly belonged to Jackson, and its introduction to Morton, the process itself would have been strangled in its infancy at the Massachusetts General Hospital, had it not been for the courage and persistency of Dr. Henry J. Bigelow, to whom, therefore, much credit should be given. p. 203

      Dr. Storer had for several years employed it [bromide of potassium] very extensively in practice, and had repeatedly tested it upon himself when suffering from insomnia, [!] almost never prescribing or taking less than from a drachm to a drachm and a half at a dose.  Of late he had been ordering, a the suggestion of one of the members of the Society, Dr. Sullivan of Malden, a good deal of the French Syrup of Codeia, prepared with beet sugar, and he considered it as perhaps the most reliable, as well as most palatable hypnotic within his knowledge. p. 204.

      Dr. Blake reported several cases of APPARENT SYMPATHETIC DISTURBANCES LIKE THOSE OF PREGNANCY AND THE PAINS OF PARTURITION, IN HUSBANDS, during their wives’ continuance in the conditions referred to; and he desired to know whether other gentlemen had observed similar phenomena, and whether their explanation upon the ground of sympathy was the correct one.

      Dr. Bixby and Dr. Page had each observed similar cases.

      Dr. Storer thought that certain of the conditions referred to were explainable, not upon the ground of any mysterious sympathy, even in men of a peculiarly nervous organization, but by the fact of an unaccustomed abstinence from occasional[!] coitus, out of regard for the condition of the wife.  While it was undoubtedly true that many men paid no regard whatever to any invalidism, from pregnancy or otherwise, that might exist on the woman's part, there were others more considerate,-- and a change from the habit of self-indulgence to one of continence was often accompanied by dyspeptic and nervous symptoms: as might indeed a priori be expected.  In some instances, the phenomena displayed might undoubtedly be owing to over-anxiety for the wife, as in a ludicrous case he had attended many years since, where the husband was seized with severe colic in the midst of his wife's labor and had to be handed over to the nurse for appropriate treatment. p 205-6

      ... Dr. Napheys, ... seems to offer the opinion that moderation in sexual matters is impossible, and that wives should not only submit to, but encourage, the most bestial lust.  There could be no doubt that the incomplete intercourse now so much the fashion in the community was alike subversive to the health and morals of both husbands and wives. p. 207

 

"The Surgical Treatment of Hemorrhoids and Fistula in Ano, with their Result." Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, April, 1870.  Toner, p.13.

      Footnote: The above paper is a "Rejected Address."  It has been condemned by Drs. Jeffries, Sen., Reynolds, Sen., Townsend, J.B.S. Jackson, Putnam, M.Wyman, Bigelow, Jr., Hodges, and one other[why not mention his name?  Find out who! BMSJ may list the committee.], "the Boylston Medical Committee, appointed by the President and Fellows of Harvard University," to whom it had been submitted at the annual competition for the year 1869; "none of the dissertations presented being considered worthy of a prize."  To this adjudgment, "unanimous save a single dissenting voice [who?]," as stated by Dr. Jeffries, the writer makes no objection, the paper having accomplished the ends for which it was written, as will appear hereafter.  Practitioners in other cities will be glad to learn the great superiority of the Massachusetts General Hospital over all others in the world for the treatment of hemorrhoids, as shown by a comparison with the opinions and practice of the surgeons who have both it and the Boylston Committee[Bigelow, Jr. was Secretary] in charge.  It will be seen that the writer speaks of himself in the third person, and in no very complimentary terms, for reasons that will be apparent enough, in the light of the subjoined letter of reclamation, sent to the Secretary of the Boylston Committee. 

Hotel Pelham, Boston, 19th Nov., 1869.  Dear Sir:-- I sent to Dr. John Jeffries the other day to reclaim a dissertation upon hemorrhoids forwarded last spring from Pittsburg(sic), Pa., to the Committee of which you are Secretary, and enclosed the express receipt therefor.  As Dr. J. states that the MS. referred to is in your hands, you will please deliver it to Dr. Warner, who will give you this.  You may very likely have already appreciated that the dissertation was written not so much for the sum offered by the committee as to ascertain, what is much more valuable,

      "1. Whether hospital surgeons in Boston have a better knowledge of the diseases in question that their practice indicates.

      "2. Whether, as unprejudiced members of a prize committee, they prefer mere compilations to original researches.

      "3. Whether advances initiated in a certain quarter would be recognized as such in this city; and

      "4. Whether the work of strangers, or what purports to be such, gets impartial judgment in Boston.

      "These points have plainly enough been settled by the action of the committee.  In anticipation of their decision, a signature [the Hamlet quote???]was appended indicative of the position assumed by its members.[How does this quote indicate rejection of the work?]

                  "'O God! Horatio, what a wounded name,

            Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me! [Is this a reference to swollen hemorrhoids?]

                              ""Hamlet, Act V. Scene II.'

      "The dissertation will now be published, with the statement of the facts in the case, in the Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston.

                              "Yours sincerely,

                                          "H.R.S.

"To Dr. H.J.Bigelow, Secretary, etc."

      If it was more particularly intended by those having the matter in charge to elicit lengthy disquisitions from young gentlemen just entering practice and with leisure to translate form foreign languages, or to dress over from their own, what has been hitherto written upon the subject selected, [as you did HRS in your Prize Essay?] the committee need not trouble themselves to read farther the present communication, for it will not suit them.  It merely narrates, with great brevity, the personal experience of a very practical man, who, for the nearly twenty years since he entered the profession, has had, in his hospital wards and in private practice, good opportunities for knowing whereof he speaks. p. 221-2.

      How to make such diagnosis [distinguish epithelium from epidermis] as to avoid the chance of this [cut the recto-uterine reflection of peritoneum], is a question apparently never yet asked or answered.  It is simply, however, to pass a sound and elevate the uterus posteriorly by throwing it forward, and then to evert the anus and lower rectum by digital pressure from within the vagina.  (The second part of this procedure, beautiful in its simplicity and as effective in all the diagnostics of the rectum, has been claimed as original by Dr. H. R. Storer, of your city.  Putting aside the improbabilities of anything so important having been overlooked by the thousands of surgeons who have worked at the rectum, and the scores who have written upon it, I can only say that I have myself for several years employed the method referred to, and have demonstrated it both publicly and privately to numbers of medical men.[!]  The gentleman's course in claiming it as his own seems paralleled by that he pursued regarding what he call "pocketing the ovarian pedicle," which Dr. Kimball, of Lowell, calls an old method, a useless method, and one he himself had previously tried and cast aside.  I hope the committee will pardon what is not intended as a personality, but only an honest outburst of indignation, under the circumstances allowable.)

"  ... but simply to put in the thumbs of the operator, one after the other, and separate them till the muscle is felt to yield; as Van Buren, and other before him and since, have don for the irritable fissure of the anus.  In this method of temporarily putting the sphincter to sleep, the superficial tissues are uninjured, except occasionally to the extent of slight flaking of the mucous membrane, and all the dangers of subsequent purulent absorption are avoided.  As to priority of suggestion in this matter, it is an affair of very little consequence.  It has been claimed by the gentleman to whom I have already been compelled[!] to refer in this communication.  All that I can say is, that I dislike to see the credit given to any one two whom it does not rightly belong; and, after all, the great object of surgery is not to glorify an individual, but to benefit suffering humanity. p. 232

      In the obstinate irreducible cases that sometimes occur, surgeons have generally passed a probe-pointed bistoury and cut through the sphincter ani; thus releasing the arrested pouch[prolapsed mucous membrane].  This operation was far preferable to allowing a slough.  It permitted, however, the dangers from external division of the sphincter, to which I have already referred.  Preferable to this, decidedly so as I have found in practice, is it to insinuate two fingers, and then the thumbs instead, and to rupture.  If the forefingers are relied upon, as more easily introduced, one must be careful for personal comfort in what direction the pressure is made.  I thus once induced a partial lateral dislocation of my own finger, the use of which I did not fully recover for many months. p. 237-8.

Much has been written upon the method of using the knife in fistula.  A single word will suffice.  Instead of three assistants, ... ..., none is in reality required, if an anaesthetic be given, unless they are smuggled in under the pretence of necessity, but in reality to behold the operation; though I would by no means imply that surgeons are always happier in proportion as they are surrounded by admiring disciples. p 247.

Had he the time to do more than present this outline of his views, which he trusts has not proved wholly uninteresting to the committee, he would have presented a long series of illustrative cases, well aware that such often win the applause of the profession, however barren or erroneous the principles that they embody.  He is not unwilling, however, to avoid the appearance of what is so often but an ad captandum argument, and will leave it to other competitors to present selections from perhaps more slender stores, merely adding that if any member of the committee ever finds himself in his section of the country, it will give him great pleasure to perform before him each of any of the methods now described, and to verify every word that has been said in their favor. p. 249. [Was recognition that HRS was the author the reason that no papers were judged prize worthy?  Or were the others notified that a selection had been made and then the author of the "winning" paper identified?  Look for correspondence in late 1869 between Drs. Jeffries, Sen., Reynolds, Sen., Townsend, J.B.S. Jackson, Putnam, M.Wyman, Bigelow, Jr., Hodges, and one other.  Was this the beginning of the war with M. Wyman?]

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, April, 1870, 250-256.

      That the "final"* [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Feb. 24, 1870, p. 150.] answer of Dr. Bigelow, Junir, to Prof. Gunn of Chicago, concerning the hip joint, and the "final"* [Ibid, March 10, 1870, p. 188.] answer of his father to Sir James Y. Simpson, of Edinburgh, concerning anaesthesia, should so closely have followed upon each other, is a coincidence as extraordinary as that both these gentlemen should have adopted the same curious style of argument, whose key-note we have given.  An ultimatum is hardly possible in controversies so serious as are these.  Self-asserting medical autocrats are well enough for spokesmen or butt[?] of a breakfast-table,[Probable Holmes reference] but the great republic of the profession does not tolerate them.

      The younger of the gentlemen to whom we have referred claims as his own, certain scientific views whose originality is disputed.  He must not complain if they are submitted to his own, test, that "He who verifies a suggestion is the true discoverer."  If smitten upon the hip himself, like the Philistines of old, he can surely have no reason to demur.

      The elder Bigelow has, in like manner, commenced to run a gauntlet which he cannot now evade.  He gave the first blow to Prof. Simpson, and his cry of "Hold! enough!" is a confession of discomfiture. p. 250

      ...  At the time of the publication of Dr. B.'s first letter, we called attention to the assiduity of his parasites in procuring its republication by the unprofessional press.  The advance sheets in the present instance but overshot their mark. p. 253

      It is an over-true and an oft-told tale, the unreliability and injustice of the chloroform statistics.  Certain ears, however, have ever been deaf to it; just as certain hearts have long been steeled against anything like fairness, in a matter to which,--we do not like to say, in gross ignorance of important points in question,--their owners long ago committed themselves.  Our facts will certainly not be gainsaid if we take them from the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal."  We go back six years or so, to an issue of the time when there was at least the semblance of fair play with regard to disputed points, and it will be found that our extract applies with exactness to the present editor of that journal, so pre-eminent in its scavenger work.

      [Excerpt from HRS's Reply to Dr. Johns]

      When the Etherites undertake to say, as has now been done [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, March 3, 1870, p. 174.], and that the exhibition of chloroform must be stayed by law, and that, whether by advice of the State Board of Health or not, [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, November 18, 1869, p. 283.] we simply laugh at them.  When they propose to erect a shaft of black marble to the martyrs to chloroform, in the Public Garden, over against the Ether monument, [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, March 3, 1870, p. 174.] one of whose tablets, in tended by the donor, Mr. Lee, it is said, to have been left blank till after the death of both Drs. Jackson and Morton, has been filled up with the name of the Massachusetts General Hospital, even though by consent of his family, Mr. Lee having deceased, we simply hold them up to be laughed at by the world. p. 256.

 

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, May, 1870,

      Dr, H.R. Storer exhibited modifications of his double speculum, now so generally in use in this region, that had lately been sent him by Messrs. Codman and Shurtleff. ... He was informed that the demand for the speculum was now so great that Messrs. C. and S. had to devote the whole time of one of their workmen to its manufacture. p 259.

With reference to Dr. Taliaferro's [Columbus, GA] paper, there were other matters discussed in it that were well worthy the attention of the profession.  One of these was reflex insanity.  [Dr. D. H. Storer was there and spoke frequently!]

      Dr. S. had at the present time several such cases under his charge.  In some of them the beneficial effect of proper local treatment was very marked.  He had for several years labored to convince Asylum Superintendents, and the profession generally, of the importance of more careful investigation of the causation of these mental disturbances in insane female patients, and he was glad to state that there was at last commencing a change from the general apathy upon this subject.  He himself firmly believed that there was room for very great improvement in practice. p. 262.

      Allusion having been made to the question of the fitness of women to practise medicine, Dr. Storer remarked that there was one important point to be considered, which was too often overlooked.  In the present excited state of public opinion it were foolish, and at the same time unkind, to object to female physicians upon any untenable grounds; and he frankly stated that the arguments that physicians had usually employed when discussing this subject were, almost without exception, untenable.  Some of the women who were desirous of practising physic and surgery were just as well educated for the work, had just as much inclination for it, and were as unflinching in the presence of suffering or at the sight of blood, as were many male practitioners.  They had a right to demand an acknowledgment that in these respects they were as competent to practise as are a large proportion of ourselves.  There is, however, one point, and it is upon this that the whole question must turn, that has till now almost wholly been lost sight of; and this the fact that, like the rest of their sex, lady doctors, until they are practically old women [!!!], regularly have their courses, and are therefore subject to those alternations of mental condition, observable in every woman under these circumstances, which so universally affect temporarily their faculties of reasoning and judgment.  That these faculties are thus affected at the times referred to is universally acknowledged.  That the fact obtains to an injurious degree in persons of many lady doctors, and to a greater or less degree in them all, had been acknowledged to Dr. Storer by more than one representative woman of the would-be medical type.

      Here is in reality the weak point of these estimable creatures, for we cannot but respect their ambition, their courage, their zeal.  Not a member of the Gynaecological Society, but who would by every means in his power assist a worthy woman, desirous of bettering her condition in an honorable way.  Judged, however, by physiological results, as shown in the working of their daily and monthly life, there is reason enough to object to lady physicians as unsafe to the community. p. 266-7

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, May, 1870, 307-320.

      In accordance with its author's evident desire, we call attention to the extraordinary pamphlet prepared by Dr. Charles Edward Buckingham, and printed by Alfred Mudge & Son, of this city.

      Though a little affair of only twenty-nine pages, every copy has a duplicate title-leaf, reiterating the fact that the author is the Professor of Midwifery and Medical Jurisprudence in Harvard College; the verbiage being through no fault of the printer, but, as will appear, it is one of a series of shallow artifices towards accomplishing a certain end.  We are told upon three consecutive pages, that "for the benefit of the medical profession," rather than as an impotent attempt to warp public opinion, in anticipation of an expected and degrading exposure, this cruel outrage upon the grief of heart-broken mourners has been committed.  What else, however, could have been expected from one who could say to a dying mother, that the child which she had feared all through her pregnancy might prove deformed, was, though perfect, a frightful thing, "half horse, half alligator!" to use his own elegant bar-room language?

      The presumption is always against a person who thus puts himself upon his defence in print before a public charge or attack has been made.  Dr. Buckingham's flight when no man pursueth is, he says because of "a fatal case of placenta proevia (sic)."* [*The wrong diphthong is used in three places in the pamphlet, and they are the only ones in which the above word occurs.  Dr. B. is a printer's son, acquainted with proof-reading; the error therefore can hardly be a typographical one.  Trifle as it is, there are those who will consider it as in evidence regarding the fitness of the incumbent for his professor's chair.] It will appear from the investigation that is now invited, whether the diagnosis was a correct one, and whether the nomenclature adopted is not an intentional blind.  There is no mention of any considerable loss of blood previous to the forced delivery that was made; there was flooding after it, uncontrolled by the measures resorted to; and so far as concerns the woman's death, it was evidently, as appears from the correspondence published by Dr. Buckingham, from post-partum hemorrhage.

      The case appears to have been briefly this: Dr. Perkins, a member of the Gynaecological Society, had been engaged to attend Mrs. Darwin Barnard in her first confinement, but was prevented by illness.  At this gentleman's suggestion, upon the ground that his position at the college guaranteed his competence, Dr. Buckingham was employed, and carried with him, for companionship's sake, a very estimable young physician, Dr. Swan.* [*After matters became desperate, there was sent for, by Dr. Buckingham, not Dr. Sinclair, or Reynolds, or Minot, or Read, or Martin, or any other of those most eminent here for their skill in obstetrics, but a gentleman whom some call, wrongly no doubt, the Medical Sceptic,[who?] to whom homeopathy [homeopathy {hoh‑mee‑ahp'‑uh‑thee} A system of medical treatment started by Samuel Hahnemann (1755‑1843), homeopathy is based on the premise that the symptoms of a disease are evidence of a curative process going on in the body in response to the disease.  The homeopathic physician attempts to promote the further development of these symptoms in order to accelerate the body's self‑cure. Homeopathy flourished in the United States during the 19th century and is still practiced today, although it is disdained by most modern physicians. Peter L. Petrakis   Bibliography: Boyd, H., Introduction to Homeopathic Medicine(1983);  Kaufman, Martin, Homeopathy in America:  The Rise and Fall of a Medical Heresy (1971); Nichols, P., Homeopathy and the Medical Profession (1988);  Salmon, J. W., ed., Alternative Medicines (1984);  Wheeler, Charles E., An Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Homeopathy (1980).] and the let-alone treatment in this country owe more even than to Jacob Bigelow or Oliver W. Holmes.  He arrived in time to see the patient breathe her last.] For some reason or another, as yet not evident, the natural process of labor was artificially interfered with, the delivery was

manually hurried, and hemorrhage ensued.  ...

      It is absurd to undertake to assert that the death was caused by "general shock to the nervous system from attendance by one unknown to the patient up to the hour of labor, and who was obliged to announce to her the danger of her symptoms and the necessity of interference."  This would only be an argument against the employment by any new patient of a physician whose presence is so depressing.

...

      Mr. Barnard states, what is undoubtedly the truth, that his suspicions of what Dr. Buckingham calls "malpractice"*[*Pamphlet, p. 10.] were first aroused by the inquiries of sympathizing non-professional friends.*[*Pamphlet, pp. 5 and 15.]  The unfortunate attendant, conscious that there were physicians in this city towards whom his own conduct had not always been that of a high-minded and honorable gentleman, asserts that there must have been some covert action by one of these, and he undertakes to conceal himself beneath a series of letters from the one of them all whom he most justly feared, his predecessor in the obstetrical chair, although that gentleman states distinctly that when called upon by Mr. Barnard, after his suspicions had been aroused, he had "Most religiously avoided" giving any opinion that could injure Dr. Buckingham.*[Letter No. XIV.]

      These letters of the senior Dr. Storer, written by him as to a friend, at Dr. Buckingham's own solicitation, and under the impression that they were to be considered as private, have now been published.  They were evidently obtained, not as Dr. B. says, for the purpose of holding their writer "responsible" for his opinion,*[*Pamphlet, p. 4.] but with the deliberate intent of employing them as a shield.  They will prove, however, Dr. Buckingham's professional ruin [did this happen?].  Either he or his correspondent deliberately lies.  Which of them it is, those who know the parties will easily decide.  A comparison of the following allegations, taken in connection with the indignant language in which the latter of them is couched, will settle the question.

      I. "Whereas no one, except myself and the medical gentlemen who were with me, knows what the treatment was, further than that no ice was used; of course, no one except ourselves can tell whether the treatment was correct or not."  (Dr. Buckingham.)

      II. "Dear Sir:  I am not a little surprised that you should say 'you had given me no account of the treatment!'  If you had not done so, how could I say "I though you had discharged your duty'? You must excuse me from hearing any more upon this subject.

Respectfully,  D. H. Storer.* [*Letter No. XXIII., by Dr. Buckingham very naturally "left without comment." See pamphlet, p. 28]

      There are many other points to which we might justly call attention, but enough has been said to show the necessity, whether other measures are taken or no, of an immediate and thorough investigation of the whole matter by the Faculty of the Medical College.  Their colleague has now gone too far for them to decline this action.  He has indeed practically demanded it.  And let them take good care that they do not, by any of the means so well known to them, undertake to stifle the enquiry.* [*Whitewashing like that essayed in the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal," for April 21, [1870 GEt THIS and identify the bungler] will not suffice.  It lacked adhesiveness, and the grime shows through, Dr. B. may well pray to be saved from the meddlesome offices of such a bungler.]  With the Webster case [The murder of Parkman by Webster in 1849] not yet forgotten, and with their part in the Ellis controversy [what is this?  Must be more than recent Dean Ellis committee problem described by Storer a few months "since." Does it have to do with "Contributions to Obstetric Jurisprudence." Article X. "The Abettment of Criminal Abortion by Medical Men."  Read before the Masachusetts Medical Society, May 30, 1866.  New York Medical Journal, September, 1866. which led HRS to BMSJ apology?  Good chance the Ellis controversy figured in the controversy which led to HRS leaving Harvard.  See "Umbilicus"], that a single word may open again with all its terrible questions, as yet unatoned for, they will hardly dare to avoid the present issue.  They have only themselves, however, to blame.  It would not have come to them had they chosen a man like Dr. Reynolds or Dr. Sinclair to the place vacated by the elder Dr. Storer.* [*We understand that Dr. Buckingham has labored under the impression, indeed that he has boastingly asserted, that one of the editors of this Journal was supplanted by himself when called to lecture upon midwifery at the college.  Believing though we do in the importance of gynaecology, there is neither of us that would have accepted the chair referred to, if tendered; it would have had to be divided, the obstetric department given to one of the gentlemen named above, and medical jurisprudence to Dr. Wm. H. Page, Dr. Ainsworth, or Dr. Henry G. Clark. [But wasn't replacing of his father perhaps the reason HRS sought his law degree?]]  As it is, they will find it a perilous strait between Scylla and Charybdis.  We hope with all our heart, for the sake of the profession, and the department of science which the gentleman undertakes to teach, that the charges of ignorance, negligence, and incompetence, which have been published by him, will prove untrue.[?]  But let not the grave be attempted to be hidden by general certificates of a knowledge, presumed or taken for granted, elicited from willing or unwilling sponsors, to meet a special indication; for one who, obtaining his position by the merest accident, having been taken as bait to hold the hospital with which he happened to be connected, then spoke to his class of their previous beloved preceptor, as "good enough" for the place he had voluntarily vacated after so many years of faithful labor, "but behind the age," even while accepting that predecessor's free gift of all the rich appliances of the chair.

      The miserable man, upon whose case we comment, seems of his own accord to have placed himself, bound and helpless, within the guillotine of professional opinion.  It is with sincere pity that we see him lie shivering beneath the now, we fear, inevitable axe. pp. 307-312. [See what happened]

      The Resident Medical Superintendent of the Massachusetts General Hospital informs us that all of the cases of hemorrhoids treated at that institution for 1868-9, to September 30th, of the latter year, were by ligature,--a practice as tedious and barbarous as it is dangerous, comparatively liable as it is to produce septicaemia.  Dr. Cheever, of the City Hospital, upon the other hand, in kindly reporting the practice there, states to us that, during the same period, and in from two to three times the number of operations for hemorrhoids, they were all by excision, in accordance with a cardinal principle of modern surgery.

      Men who sneer at the importance of rectal disease, who are blind to its comparative severity and disturbing influence in women, and who, if operating at all, rather than step from a time-honored routine, would subject a patient to dangers realized in a most notable instance here in Boston [Somehow get details] but a few months ago, are so far unfit for college teachers or hospital attendants.

      With regard to the action of the Boylston Committee, to which we referred last month.  There are those, at a distance, who may consider that it was owing to an instinctive desire upon the part of the Committee to shield a townsman from what appeared an unjust attack from Pittsburg; for the publication of which, were the memoir accepted, the members might have seemed to themselves responsible. So charming an instance, however, of professional espirit de corps as this may be common enough at the West or South; we have no doubt that it is.  It has not occurred in Boston. p. 312-3.

 

      ... Before insane women can be rationally cured, assent must be given to a reasonable explanation of their malady.* [For discussions by the Society of this point, see Vol. I., November, 1869, p. 262, and p. 261 of the present number of this Journal]  Given this explanation, supported by facts as well as by a priori reasoning, and then a refusal or neglect to afford the means of relief becomes cruelty and arrant malpractice.  We shall have somewhat more to say upon this subject hereafter; and meanwhile, would merely suggest hereafter; and, meanwhile, would merely suggest that while to those unfamiliar, personally, with the toil and struggle of ideas that to their possessors are as clear and precious as crystal, their vindication and a reference to their triumph may smack of the grossest egotism, there are others in the profession, perhaps more competent judges, who believe that without correctness or intentness of vision no point in advance of the general practice can be discerned; that without enthusiasm, no pioneer, however brave, can reach that goal; and without a blending of self, motive, and work together, even to that extent that the first may at times seem to outcrop, however unintentionally, just as it does in every real missionary labor,--a general adoption of special views can never be, as it were, enforced.  Philanthropy, education, and all other agencies for good, move still by force, after all. p. 314 [Something very profound here!]

      We have now to expose a more cowardly procedure than that [leaks to press of Bigelow's BMSJ letter against Simpson],--and though it is one the full malice of which has been dealt upon ourselves, during several years and without comment of complaint from us till now, we feel that it has become high time to end it, in view of the conclusive proofs that have come into our possession.

      One  of the editors of this Journal has a namesake [Storer?]in this city, whose initials (H. B. S.) are very nearly the same as his own.  This gentleman, whom we happen never even to have seen, is undoubtedly a very worthy man, and entitled to respect.  He is, however, by profession a lecturer upon Spiritualism, and a peripatetic at that, travelling up and down over the face of the country.  Neither of ourselves have any, even the slightest, sympathy whatever with the peculiar views [What are they?] referred to.  We therefore submit that it is a dastardly act for Boston physicians of high standing [Who?], who are well aware of the distinctness from each other of the two individuals in question, to report to their patients and to physicians for and wide, as they have done, that it is the Spiritualist who is the Secretary of the Gynaecological Society and one of the editors of this Journal.* [*Two years ago, Messrs. Lee & Shepard, of this city, the publishers of the American Medical Association's Prize Essay upon the Physical Evils of Criminal Abortion, begged us to allow them, in justice to themselves, to state the facts in the case; but we declined to do so, thinking that such an advertisement, at that time, might be misinterpreted.]

      The same unbrotherly conduct has been resorted to by medical men pretending to our face to be friends,[!] who have been written to from a distance concerning our standing, both as has regarded proposed consultations and attendance upon our lectures to physicians.  Such acts always recoil upon their perpetrators [would it were so!].  We claim to be no better, wiser, or more skillful than our neighbors; but we are not a Spiritualist, and we tolerate neither in ourselves nor in others anything at variance with the code of Ethics of the American Medical Association.  There are disappointed applicants for and attendants upon our courses of gynaecological instruction who can attest to that, and we are only surprised that we have not been posted by the irregular press throughout the land, because of the certificates that we have refused to confer. p 316.

      The dissolution of the faculty at the Albany Medical College, that we predicted ... The reputation of the professors who now retire, in vindication of their own self-respect, is such, identified as they have been with medical instruction for many years, that they may be sure of the sympathy of the profession.  They will have, moreover, its approbation, in that they have proved themselves too honorable to lend themselves to a scheme of petty and oppressive self-assurance on the part of any one of their colleagues.

      It remains to be seen whether, under all the circumstances, gentlemen can be found to accept the places thus vacated.* [*As the above is passing through the press, we have received the following slip from Dr. Armsby, of Albany, with the request that it be inserted in the Journal.  It serves as a timely comment upon what we have said:--

      "Dr. Thomas C. Durant, of New York, a graduate of the College, and an early student of Drs. March and Armsby, has given fifteen thousand dollars to endow the 'March Professorship.'  Drs. E. R. Peaslee, adn Meredith Clymer, of New York, and William P. Seymour, of Troy, have accepted Chairs in the Faculty."]   p. 316-7.

... while from West Virginia, we have the "Physical and Medical Topography of Wheeling," by Dr. J. E. Reeves, the Health Officer, published by order of the City Council.  It is an admirable document, containing incidentally some forcible remarks upon criminal abortion.  We commend it to the attention of our own State Board of Health; as also, Dr. I. Rowell's very interesting Report, as Health Officer of San Francisco, for 1869, which corroborates all that was said of the prevalence of abortion upon the Western Coast, in the Annual Address of 1869, before the San Francisco Medical Society, by Dr. Henry Gibbons, of that city, our brother editor of the "Pacific Medical and Surgical Journal." p 319-320.

      ... One is struck by the appreciation of American as compared with British contributions to science, by our German friends.  Of the foreign associates elected by the Berlin Society during the past year, there were the following Americans, to not a single Englishman, Scotchman, or Irishman: Drs. Emmed, Peaslee, Stephen Rogers, Thomas, and I. E. Taylor, of New York, and H. R. Storer, of Boston.

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, June, 1870,

      Dr. Storer had repeatedly employed the acid [phosphoric] as an aphrodisiac in broken-down roue's of either sex.  He had never used it for [menorrhagia] p. 343.

      Resolved, That, in the opinion of this Society, the vote passed at the meeting of the American Medical Association at Newa Orleans thepresnt year, condemnatory of cards by specialists in medical journals, is in no sense justified by the obvious reading of that section of the Code of Ethics which prescribes Duties for the Support of Professional Character. plus two related resolutions.  p. 348.

 

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, June, 1870,.

      Of my own personal bereavement, I have now no right to speak.  There may be those present, however, who will remember my language of fifteen years ago, in the preface to the American edition of those 'Memoirs and Contributions,' to edit which, in conjunction with Dr. Priestley, now of London, it had been my great privilege to be selected.  'Treating me as his son, I had learned to love him as a parent.'  As such, indeed, I have found the tie that is now broken.  There are sorrows that cannot express themselves in words.  I can only offer you the following resolutions.  They will be found but feebly to convey what I know is in all our hearts:-- p.371

      Dr. Horatio R. Storer, who for many years had been admitted to a close personal friendship with Professor Simpson, referred to the closing labor of his life, which had been the defence of the late Dr. Horace Wells, of Connecticut, as the true discoverer of practical anaesthesia, published in the may number of the Society's Journal.  The then detailed the proceedings of the  national memorial meeting at Washington in honor of Simpson, and continued as follows:--

      "Philanthropy, education, and all other agencies for good move still by force, after all.'  When you and I, Mr. President, penned these words but a short month since, in the Society's Journal, we little imagined that we should so soon be gauging with them the completed character of this loved friend.  It was just, however, the personal force of Simpson which rounded and made effective the learning, so thorough and complete; the persuasive and convincing philosophy which so perfectly carried to the minds of others those great ideas which have revolutionized, not merely gynaecology, but general medicine and surgery; and the prophetic and patient perseverance through which those ideas were enabled to develop themselves into practical, acknowledged perfection.  Manly in his presence, he was such in his standard of thought and in his every action.  Seldom stirred to anger, and never unless with cause, he detested all meanness, hypocrisy, and time-serving.  Gentle in heart as a woman, no lion surpassed him in courage when occasion, of whatever nature, needed his defence or support.

      "There are those, faint hearts, or self-convicted of wrong, who, pointing to his conflicts with Robert Lee, of London, Collins, of Dublin, Meigs, of Philadelphia, and of late with Jacob Bigelow, have called Dr. Simpson a seeker of controversy.  Skilled, however, though he was in its every weapon, nothing was more distasteful to him.  Long years ago, he subjected the self-sufficiency that is natural to every young worker for the truth and the right, to that dependence upon a Higher Power which can alone give sufficiency unto death,--a sufficiency which, with every trial that it was given him to bear, repeated and heavy as they were, was but increased.  Thus armed with the sword of the Lord, he always left the field as its victor.  He was a man longing for peace, and yet pre-eminently a fighting man.  We hold with Mr. Hughes [Who is this?] that the world would be far happier were there more such.  'After all, what would life be without fighting, I should like to know.  From the cradle to the grave, fighting, rightly understood, is the business, the real, highest, honestest business of every son of man.  Every man who is worth his salt has his enemies who must be beaten, be they evil thoughts and habits in himself, or spiritual wickedness in high places, or Russians, or border-ruffians, or Bill, Tom, or Harry, who will not let him live his life in quiet till he has thrashed them.'* [*Tom Brown's School Days, p. 104.]  Having fought the good fight, he now has found the peace that passeth understanding.

      "I have said that the force of Dr. Simpson's personal character was the great and powerful lever with which, as never physician in our time, he moved the world, the all-sufficient fulcrum being given him from above.  I have chanced my hand upon what might have been the photograph of Dr. Simpson's inner life.  It was written by a dear friend, Rev. Phillips Brooks, whose words never fail of very direct application:--

      "'The prophet, the philosopher, the ruler, and the saint, the scholar has always been all these.  Not ever wholly one, for always, in each, all the others will bear witness by some protest that they, too, are functions of the perfect scholar.  It is personal force which is the mainspring of all other forces.  For where is force except in persons?  Where is the force of truth except as true men make it effective on their fellows?  Where is the power of abstract ideas, which, grasped into a mighty personality, and grouped as the attributes of a personal God, make the universe tremble with terror, or bow with a sob of love? "What is truth?" asked the weary Roman. too listless to care to judge between the true and the false, in his despair of the abstract truth.  "I am the truth," answered the personal Saviour; and through His personality the truth has saved the world.  I wonder if we realize how the  personal instinct is pow-... p. 385-387. [Failed to copy 388-9 which would identify the writing by Brooks]

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, July, 1870,

      Annual (twenty-fifth regular) Meeting, January 4, 1870/

      The annual meeting of the Society, it being the twenty-fifth regular meeting, was held on January 4th, 1870, at 4 P.M., at St. Francis' Hospital, Somerville, by invitation of the Sister Superior; [Frances Sophia MacKenzie!] the President in the chair.  Present, Drs. Lewis, Warner, Dutton, Bixby, Warren, Perkins, Campbell, and H.R. Storer; and, by invitation, quite a number of medical gentlemen of Boston and vicinity. p 1.

      ... Later, the Sister Superior of the hospital, who was sitting up with the patient, applied to the epigastrium a large poultice of linseed meal. p. 4.

      The Annual Address was then delivered by the retiring [?] President, Dr. Winslow Lewis.  It was devoted to a consideration of the claims of the diseases of women upon every thoughtful physician, and elicited many expressions of applause from those present. p. 5.

      Dr. Blake having referred to the fact that his patient had been previously attended by several gentlemen of standing form many months, without the true character of the disease having been appreciated, Dr. Both called for their names.  He thought that it was high time that such ignorance should be exposed.

      Dr. Storer, on the other hand, trusted that the request would not be acceded to.  He had himself suffered as much as Dr. [Carl] Both [of Boston]had done, for many years, from the arrogance of ignorant men in high professional positions, and Dr. B. could now well afford to see in silence these persons gradually but surely finding their true level in the estimation of the public.  It was impossible for the community much longer to tolerate such gross instances of malpractice from ignorance or wilful neglect. p. 14w.

      Dr. Storer read extracts from a letter from Dr. Tom O. Edwards, of Lancaster, Ohio, with reference to the question of priority as to the method of disposing of the ovarian pedicle, known as "pocketing."  After carefully reading the evidence on both sides, without having passed a word with Dr. Storer, he writes as follows:--

      "I was Chairman of the Committee of the Thirtieth Congress relative to the Ether Controversy, and has all the facts before me for thirty-five days, and was one of the majority who decided in favor of Morton.  I disclaim all 'dreams,' 'imaginings,' or 'conceptions' of a discovery.  Who demonstrated it is my only question.  That you operated, demonstrated, and fixed professional opinion, while Dr. Kimball was 'fondly dreaming' of some such result, is conclusively true." p. 17

      Dr. Edwards' method, it would be seen, closely resembled that mentioned by Dr. Emmet, at the special meeting of the New York Academy of Medicine, held in accordance with an invitation extended to Dr. Storer to bring his new method of operating before the Academy, in 1867.* [*New York Medical Record, Jan 15, 1868, p. 519.] p. 17-18.

      ... Diagnosticating perinephritic abscess, although there was not evident fluctuation, Dr. Bowditch had ineffectually tried to persuade one of the surgeons at the Massachusetts General Hospital to operate, and had then placed the case in Dr. Storer's hands.  Passing an exploring trocar from behind forwards, about half way between the crest of the ilium and the lower rib, Dr. S. inserted it nearly its whole length before reaching a point of no resistance; to such an extent, indeed, that the peritoneal membrane would probably have been reached, had not not bee pressed forwards by the purulent collection.  Upon withdrawing the trocar, no pus excaped throught the canula.  Exhaustion was effected by a syringe, but without result.  Dr. S. then applied his mouth, for a moment or two ineffectually, until there came a sudden gush of fetid pus with such violence as to forcibly strike his pharynx.  p. 25

      The Secretary presented a copy of the New York "Independent," of Dec. 23d, 1869, containing an attack by Mr. Wm. Lloyd Garrison upon the Society and it action with regard to an absurd argument adduced by Mrs. Dall in behalf of some physicians, and an answer that he had prepared to be forwarded to the editor of the paper referred to. p. 26

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, July, 1870, 47-64.

      Our work is now with the living.  As prompters of the public thought, we have to honor the good.  Equally is it our duty to point out those who are not so.

      In commencing the third volume of this Journal, and a new year of its existence, it is not inappropriate for us to thank our many friends for their cordial cooperation. As fellow-workers we account all, whether subscribers or not, who by kind words of or to us have lightened our toil.

      We have reason indeed to be thankful; and yet in all our success we see only an appreciation of the Society and of its devoted missionary work.  When the Association of the Editors of the American Medical Journals, in session at Washington on the evening of May 2d, appointed Dr. H. R. Storer, of Boston, as its President for the ensuing year, in immediate succession to the veteran journalist, Prof. N. S. Davis, of Chicago, it was only a mark of respect from the brethren for the department of science to which he is devoted, for the dear old city he would so gladly see again assuming its place in the medical advance guard, and for the patience and perseverance that at the end of seventeen years of labor are but fresher than ever. p. 47-48.

      After the news of Dr. Simpson's death reached us there came this letter,--his last.  While it shows the perfect transparency of his character, his truthfulness, and his quick sense of humor, not personal merely, but regarding those who were gone, it contains matter very interesting to certain parties here in Boston.  Traducers, slanderers,--we do not like to add, wilful falsifiers of history,--it remains to be seen whether they are also, in the face of the threefold decision that has now been rendered in favor of Dr. Horace Wells as the discoverer of practical anaesthesia,* [*I. By Dr. Simpson. "reply to Dr. Bigelow's Second Letter," ...  II.  By the Gynecological Society of Boston. ... III. By the American Medical Association, ...] to remain apologists for the unblushing, deliberate, and wicked theft committed when what belongs to Hartford, Ct., is claimed for the Massachusetts General Hospital and for the city of Boston.  p. 50

      From Simpson's letter:  And now, my dear Dr. Storer, may God Almighty bless you and all that belong to you.  I have had three severe attacks of acute rheumatism at the distance of several years' interval; this last has been the most severe of all, as it attacks my chest.  I am not very likely to escape its effects, and am in extreme debility; but you and I will, I hope, meet in another world,--for I look, as I hope [!] you do, for salvation to Jesus, and to Jesus only.

      In writing, I make use of the hand of my pupil, Dr. Munro, who has watched over me, most lovingly and sedulously, by night and by day.  Yours ever, J.Y. Simpson.

      There are those in this city who are now, their false glories stripped from them by that dead hand, going about our streets with poltroon courage and with flippant tongue, defaming Dr. Simpson's truthfulness, honesty of purpose, and mental equipoise.  There has indeed been lying done, but not by him.  He was the very soul of honor.  There have indeed strange instances of forgetfulness gone upon the record, and of lack besides of self-control.  Did these, however, occur in Edinburgh?  Is it possible that the great Boston authorities, to whom we have bowed so servilely all these years, are but poor, weak mortals like the rest of us, after all? p. 52.

      At the request of Dr. Simpson, contained in one of those letters from his dying chamber, we compelled ourselves, very reluctantly, to temporarily reopen communication with a person for whom, for some fifteen years, we have entertained only the most supreme indifference.* [*The reason of this is stated in a foot-note to the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, for July 24, 1856, p. 500.]

      We represented to him that it was Dr. Simpson's belief that the present editor of the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal" was a fair-minded and honorable man, and that as such he could not refuse, in common courtesy, to lay before his readers the reply to the Second Letter of Dr. Bigelow, a copy of which we sent him, even if its length should require that it should be printed in installments.

      We publish entire the answer to our note.* [*Office Medical and Surgical Journal, 334 Washington Street, Boston, May 8th, 1870.

      Dear Sir: I have read Sir James Simpson's rejoinder.  It occupies about twenty pages, but contains little that is new; and nothing, as it seems to me, that invalidates the positions taken by Dr. Bigelow.

      I have therefore decided to postpone inserting it in this Journal for the present; and perhaps until some other periodical which has published the letters of Professor Simpson shall have copied Dr. Bigelow's reply which Sir James Y. Simpson's communication attempts to answer.  Very respectfully yours, Luther Parks.  [to] Dr. Warner.]  It will be perceived that it is addressed to Dr. Warner, who was kind enough to place our missive in the hands of Dr. P., and not, we are glad to say, to ourselves. [!!]

      It will be recollected, moreover, if it is indeed this Journal to which allusion is made, that having presented the first of the "Bigelow papers" in full,* [*This Journal, February, 1870, p.110] the second of them--the then "final" one--had been noticed by us at much greater length than its character demanded, and that, like its predecessor, also published by Dr. P., it was essentially an attack, and not, like that of Dr. Simpson, a reply to an attack.  Had this Journal been the first to publish the article of original offence, its conductors would have been delighted to admit the answer, however damaging it might have been to their client or to themselves.  Again, had Dr. Bigelow given us any intimation, even without a tithe of the civility displayed towards Dr. P. by Sir James Simpson, that we should reprint his second abusive letter, whether in part or in full, we should have been most happy to do so.  As it was, we gave reference to its whereabouts; which is more than "the great organ" did with regard to the Boston reprint of Prof. Simpson's replies.  The feeble plaint of our provincial Nonconformist* [*It is an odd coincidence to have a Luther behaving in this way, and at the same time to have come into possession of proof, from more than one gentleman with whom he has spoken, that a certain Calvin, once in controversy with us, by forcing his unwilling colleagues [Hodges and Minot apparently were unwilling!] into the quarrel [get details!], and by explaining his non-denial of our charge [when? where? written?]by the most craven of excuses, was guilty of the meanest of cowardly acts, the attempting to destroy an antagonist by secret blows.  Meant to be mortal, they have but awakened us to a quicker life.  We pardoned the first offence, but for these there can be forgiveness only after acknowledged repentance.] to editorial fairness will be recognized as his first public acceptance of the existence of this Journal.  Now a year old, however, able to stand alone, and its teeth will cut, it needs no such unwilling patronage.

      That upon more sober second thought, our neighbor has again recognized discretion to be the better part of valor, and has republished the uncorrected press copy* [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, May 26, 1870, p. 390.] sent from Edinburgh to Dr. Bigelow, that that gentleman might, if possible, be shamed into better behavior, does not render his position any the less ridiculous.  A very silly act, if repeated, becomes, and is considered, stale.  It will be recollected that our contemporary waited quite a while for an English copy of Dr. Simpson's First Reply, rather than use that furnished him by ourselves, and now, rather than reprint from the fair sheets previously placed in his hands at Dr. Simpson's own request, he has reproduced, as he says, "verbatim et literatim," the typographical errors which the dying man, too ill to read the proof himself, had requested us to correct for him.  Such conduct will be recognized in this region as well befitting "the Boston School of Medicine" to which Sir James so pointedly alluded.

      How the littleness of a very little man stands boldly out when compared with a truly generous nature, such as was his who has gone!  It is not worth our while to tilt any longer with a shadow. p. 52-55.

      The discussion permanently closed, says Dr. P.[arks?], "by Heaven's solemn fiat" in the death of Prof. Simpson, has been reopened by the son of his father, and we have another "Bigelow's Sequel."* [*The first having been "A Treatise," etc., etc., "intended as a Sequel to the Pharmacopeia of the United States."  Boston: Published by Charles Ewer, 1822.]  "Final," used by these gentlemen, is an expression, like caoutchouc, very elastic.  In this instance, as in many others in history, it will be found that vexed questions, several of them at a time, have been settled, by raising a little our point of outlook.

      "'The American Medical Association,'" to quote Dr. Henry J. Bigelow's quotations,* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, May 26, 1870.  The animus of these quotation marks is evident enough when it is recollected that the gentleman who employs them was the ringleader of the malcontents [who else?  Dr. Henry W. Williams--President of the American Ophthalmological Association, and one of the four boston physicians who tried to kill the American Medical Association in 1865] who, in 1865, undertook to prevent the session of the American Medical Association at Boston, and thus to give it its "final" coup de grace.  The round-robin prepared by his father, signed by every practitioner of middle age then living in Boston who was supposed by the conspirators to be possessed of influence, save the late Dr. J. Mason Warren, Dr. John Jeffries, and Dr. Bowditch, who refused to be thus entrapped, and then carried to the pre-arranged special meeting of the Suffolk District Medical Society for 'the snap-judgment of a kind of caucus vote," did not increase the obligations due from the profession in this country to the family of whom we are speaking.] "signalized its late meeting, among other anomalous and extraordinary doings, by a resolution put and carried just before separating, attempting to settle, by a snap-judgment of a kind of caucus vote, a question of discovery in science which for years tasked the intelligence of scientific men in Europe and this country."

      Unintentionally, of course, the preceding paragraph entirely misstates the truth.  The Association, so far from acting hastily, did not pass upon Dr. Wells' claim at all until it had devoted nearly a whole session of its Section of Practical Medicine and Obstetrics to the consideration of the question which, through Boston sophistry and Boston arrogance, had, it is true, for so many long years, tasked the intelligence of scientific men in Europe and this country. p. 55-56.

      It is in reality only subsequent to a great battle such as was waged among us a quarter of a century ago, after the heat of the strife has been allayed and the dust well settled, that a question of such importance can be finally adjudicated.  This has now been done, and the decision of the American Medical Association will be accepted by the profession everywhere, and permanently, to be as final* [In the true and not the Boston sense. [Probably refers to the Bigelows final positions described earlier and in a previous editorial.]]

      ... "... The fact is, that the denunciation of chloroform adn the laudatory reports of ether by Bostonians, are considered by the profession generally as unfair and unreliable."[California Medical Gazette, May, 1870.]

      We regret most sincerely that our native city has ever been placed by the folly or blindness of some of its townsmen in so false and ridiculous a position as it now must occupy.  We regret, moreover, that so estimable a gentleman as our venerable preceptor, the Emeritus Professor of Materia Medica in Harvard University, should have lived to see so large a portion of the arduous labors of a lengthy life expended, as they have been, upon the false pretences of the deceiving Morton and the bamboozled Massachusetts General Hospital, so incontinently brought to nothing.  We trust that he will accept, in resignation, the conclusion that is now a foregone one.  If he does not, we can only commend to him  his own suggestive and very elegant doggerel when arriving at home from his late Californian journey: "Ye pilgrim of the Yo Semite, Whose courage naught can daunt, Push onward to your destiny, And 'see the elephant'!"* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, June 16, 1870, p. 466.]

      ...  We were in the midst of the tempest and cognizant of its every breath.  It was indeed permitted to us, through Providence, to assist in giving the turn to the helm, which at last, despite the palsied inefficiency of the presiding officer[Who], carried the Association through and past all breakers into the calm of absolute and permanent safety.

      Never had a trap been more skilfully set than that laid by the unscrupulous politicians of Howard University; never a puzzle more ingeniously contrived.  Like many a similar junto, however, that cabal came to excessive grief.  Hoist with their own petard, strangled with their own wires, choked with their own unsavory bolus, these men were made to stand before the Association, convicted, by their own confession, of most unprofessional and dishonorable conduct.  Ignoring the fact that the Fifteenth Amendment ot the Constitution of the United States had practically extinguished the last faint embers of the Rebellion, these mischief-makers had, wholly against his will, taken the negro, already licensed to practise in the District of Columbia, and empowered to consult and be consulted by white practitioners, and had endeavored to force him into social intercourse with the Southern gentlemen pursuing their profession in the District.  It was a deliberate, cold blooded attempt to cram negro equality, or rather negro worship, down their throats, to use a homely expression.  It was intended as a malicious insult, and no one has a right to complain that it was so taken.  Our language must not be misunderstood.  We are Northern men, who looked at this matter from a Northern stand-point.  Every word that we have said was proved true by facts that were publicly elicited in open meeting upon the final day of the session.

      If the Southern members of the profession had been treated as gentlemen in this matter,--which dates back through a period of several months prior to the meeting of the Association, ... the negro, had he been properly presented as a delegate from any medical college, society, or hospital, recognizable by the Association, or not infringing its Code of Ethics, would at once have been admitted to membership, by the Southern as well as the Northern vote.  Examples enough of the decolorizing process had been set that could have been followed by even the most punctilious cavalier, and there were Southern men [Habersham?]at that meeting, true to their flag while it waved, but accepting the stern necessity of their fortune, who came prepared to shake hands in mutual fidelity again, and with influence to make the compact an universal one.  The moment the opportunity was given, how gallantly it was all done! [the hand shaking occurred?]  It had seemed as though there must be a rupture; great bodies of men, both from the North and from the South, had met and had pledged themselves to withdraw from the Association, if certain threatened occurrences took place.  Had there been such a severance, the work of all these years would have gone to annihilation, for the Association, as a national body, would never have assembled again.

      Dr. Sullivan's motion was then put.  It was voted down thanks to the pusillanimity, indifference, or wilful absenteeism of Northern men. But it served to pave the way for the motion by Dr. Storer, which, in a moment, as soon as its true meaning flashed through the minds of that stormy crowd, was caught at by a spontaneous, universal movement, and was passed at once by an overwhelming majority.  It was no compromise, nor was it intended as one.  It ws no yielding to pressure from either side.  It was neither hoodwinking nor "being hoodwinked," to quote the infuriated words of an imperious Senator, who, at his breakfast-table immediately afterwards, undertook to deny to others the same liberty of thought and action he has always arrogated to himself.  It was not treating the Southern members as "devils incarnate," to speak from a similar high authority, nor was it planting asses' ears upon the North.  It was simply affording dry land and an olive-branch to those who were quarreling about a question that has never, in reality, been presented to the Association, and who were in just the mood to hail the ray of light which showed them what they had to do, and the proper way, the honorable way, and the only way, in which to do it.

      Disappointed ultra radicals, incendiaries at the North, may howl or they may exult, for they are doing both; befogged partisans at the South may question and doubt, for they, too, are equally at fault; but the calm and impartial historian of the profession will by and by speak of May 6th, 1870, as the time when our Association was in its greatest peril at the hands of assassins, and the time when it trod its enemies into the dust under its feet. p. 59-61.

      "That it would expel the American Medical Association," was what the ancient wire-pullers here [Henry J. Bigelow "ringleader of the malcontents"] predicted of the Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Medical Society.  Of late, however, it has been found that all the fury of these blusterers ends in very transparent smoke, which vanishes before the wave of a determined hand.

      "Expel the Association," indeed!  Tried at Washington upon the charge of most improper practices, made against it in formal memorial by the Gynaecological Society, and found guilty of them all, subjected to the discipline of probation, and sentenced, moreover, to a refusal of representation at any future session of the Association until it should purge itself of every contempt, the Massachusetts Medical Society at its last meeting did what?

      I. It repealed that Section of its By-Laws which had allowed an unchallenged admission to the Society to graduates of the Harvard Medical School, upon the mere presentation of their diploma, while the graduates of all other colleges in this country were compelled to undergo an invidious examination.

      II.  It expelled from its fellowship "all those who publicly profess to practise in accordance with any exclusive dogma, whether calling themselves homeopaths, hydropaths, eclectics, or what not, ...

      It will be perceived that the action of the Society with regard to this point does not require the concurrence of the Councillors, no alteration of any by-law being involved.

      Till now for many years the Society has been ruled by the self-styled cream of the profession.  That cream has at last been skimmed off and churned.  It did not give the promised product, neither rich butter, nor starveling cheese even; but this is not surprising.  From nothing, nothing can be made.  False prophets and usurping school-masters that day fell. p 62-63

It is with no common satisfaction that we chronicle the admission of our associate, Dr. Bixby, into the Massachusetts Medical Society, ...  Determined never again to present himself as a candidate until the iniquitous compact of the Society with Harvard College had been repealed, and availing himself of the first opportunity to do so after this had been done [including Councillor action?], his success can hardly imply a change in his ability within so short a period, but rather a retreat from their perilous position by the Boston Censors.  W.L./H.R.S.  p 63-64

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, August, 1870,

27th regular meeting , Feb. 1, 1870.

      Sir James Y. Simpson acknowledges his Honorary Membership. p. 65

      He [Storer] had reason for believing that a non-appreciation of the actual and curable character of these cases [vaginismus] had often laid the foundation of a suit for divorce.  Husbands could not understand why their approach should be so shunned by their wives, or believe that the suffering , alleged to be so intense, could be real.  It was the business of the physician to ascertain and explain the true character of the case, and thus allay a vast amount of domestic unhappiness. p. 74

 

Note by Dr. Storer. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, August, 1870, 99-105.

      When, in 1867, at the request of Prof. Theophilus Parvin, of Indianapolis, probably the most accomplished gynaecologist of the west, I prepared a paper upon "Self-Abuse in Women," and published it in his Journal, I was assailed in several quarters by a torrent of invective [get specifics], as though I had done a very improper thing.  I was told, that granting the truth was as I had stated it, it should not be told.  Till now I have made no answer.  Since Mayer, however, has followed the lead then given, and his experience is found to be identical, I may refer to the fact that an authority of equal weight, Prof. Brown-Se'quard, took occasion at the time to assure me that he thoroughly coincided in my views, and that they were in no sense overdrawn or exaggerated, and shortly after to refer to them in one of his own contributions to neurological science.* [*Lectures on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Functional Nervous Affections.  Part I., 1868, p. 30.]  For the edification of those who may not already have seen my memoir, I extract so much of it as bears upon the frequency and causation of self-abuse in females.  It will be found that the subject, in one or another of its relations, has been discussed at meetings of the Gynaecological Society, the minutes of which will in due time, be published, and the value of the new pathognomonic sign of the habit, suggested to the Society by one of its Active Members, Prof. H.M. Field, of Dartmouth College, will no doubt be tested by many of the profession.  In speaking of self-abuse, I remarked that

      "It was my own belief that, even at the present moment, the subject is very generally misinterpreted, is as frequently treated upon erroneous principles of practice, and is too often entirely overlooked. p 100.

      ... and that in many instances the habit initiates from no normal or abnormal longing of the woman's own heart, from no direct or indirect physical sensation upon her part, from no endeavor to simulate previous sexual intercourse had with husband or lover, but from manual caresses conferred by some half-timid man, or from the measures injudiciously or too frequently employed, however honestly, by a medical attendant, or from certain legitimate and very common employments of life, such, for instance, as the use of the sewing machine. p 100-101.

      ... With reference to the frequency of the habit to which I am alluding, it is as with the somewhat co-relative question of the frequency of criminal abortion.  Both of them are matters of very delicate character; concerning both of them, physician and patient would gladly preserve silence, were it not that by this means the evils referred to, with all their train of deplorable results, would be sure to proceed unchecked.  The frequency of unjustifiable abortion is now recognized by every medical man, and reform is rapidly taking place.  Ten years ago, however, the situation was very different.  upon my directing the attention of the profession to the matter in a paper read before the Suffolk District Medical Society, at Boston, I think in 1856, I presented tables based upon confessions made to me within a given time by patients, said patients being married, well-to-do in life, and professing, for the most part, to hold by the tenets of religion.  In answer to my paper, the evidence of which was irresistible, one of our oldest and most influential physicians, at that time Professor in Harvard University, felt called upon to express his astonishment and doubt, inasmuch as, during some forty years or more of practice, he had never known a single case of criminal abortion [Jacob Bigelow!].  The method of adjustment of our divergent experience I commend to the attention of all who may suppose that self-abuse is comparatively unknown among women.  My statements to the Society, as I have said, were based upon the confessions of patients [Is this published?  First I have heard of it?].  I asked the gentleman if, during his long experience, he had ever questioned a woman if her abortion had been an intentional one.  "I consider, sir, that I should have insulted her by so doing,' was the reply.  To obtain positive evidence in these matters, the physician must seek it; obtained, as I have said, the experience of the seeker will outweigh that of all those who cross over and pass on the other side, without inquiry.  p. 101.

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, August, 1870, 106-119.

      To write an obituary notice of a living man is ever a thankless task.  Still more so must this be the case when the attitude of the recipient of the compliment toward its sender has been such as to render his last sad offices seem, however unjustly, to savor of sarcasm, or, that worst of offences at a funeral, insincerity.

      On Thursday, June 30th, 1870, in this city, there dropped unexpectedly from the editorial firmament,* [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal. New Series, Vol. V, No. 26, p. 494.] what has been considered by its admirers the wonderful Star fo the East.  Without premonition of any kind, and against every prediction of the professional almanac, down it came, with a dead weight, that has carried it into the ground, far out of sight.  This effect seems to have been, from mere vis inertiae, a heavy, lifeless fall,--not that of a meteor, but rather one of the pseudo-aerolites of the Fourth of July, which goes up a rocket, and comes down a stick.

      He has vanished.  The pages of his past, sparkling, as the profession had a right to expect that they should, with the coruscations characteristic of an elegant leisure; using wealth, education, inherent intellectual brightness, and a manly, generous disposition, only for the benefit of others, and never for narrow, sinister, or selfish ends,--will ever remind us of the dear departed.  They present, what the many readers of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"*[A book as amusing to old as to little people.  Published by Lee & Shepard.  No one should fail to see the illustration to which we have referred.[1865 publication]] will remember as the most tantalizing of conceivable deprivations, the feline "grin without the cat."

      To us, the loss is an inconsolable one.  We had hoped, for years yet, of the reasonable and true enjoyment that the contemplation of him, his intellectual feats, and his generous acts, has hitherto afforded us.  But it seems that this was not to be.  Like a brave general upon the battle-field, at the time of the most imminent peril he has crept to the rear, and there, without confession of wound, he has given up the editorial ghost.[Parks I believe did serve in Civil War.  Check this.  This seems a bit overdone by HRS.  Can we blame Bixby?]

      In succeeding the martyred P----, as the responsible editor of the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal," Dr. Francis H. Brown has assumed a task that we fear will require more than his acknowledged very excellent ability.  Steadily slipping behindhand for many tears in its hold upon professional opinion, save during the short, but brilliant period when Dr. Cheever, by his own great personal force, almost unaided, endeavored to galvanize it into life again, and gave up in despair, finding the task impossible,--the mouthpiece of the "Boston School" has shared the fortunes of its virtual directors, and our friend shows a heroism worthy a better cause, when he becomes the calker at sea of a sinking ship.

      The owners of the "Journal," who are also its publishers, and are not themselves of the profession, have taken the only step that can possibly save them; but we fear that it comes too late.  When prestige has gone, one notices threadbare garments which were lost sight of while a crown overtopped them.  They have at once ejected the editor who had publicly so prided himself upon being a cheaply* [*"We hardly know," he said, "how to express our thanks for the invaluable gift (the Catalogue of the Anatomical Museum) that has come to us addressed as 'from the Medical Faculty of Harvard University.'" Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, June 19, 1870, p. 466.] purchased tool, though it is only right to suppose that his publishers endorsed, so long as they dared, his policy, and they have thrown to the winds a portion of those precious dogmas that have hitherto been the only password to support and to position, to fortune and to fame, here in Boston.  Dr. Brown has done well in acknowledging the power that specialism has now acquired.* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, July 7, 1870, p.11.]  A skilled especialist[!] himself, he could do no otherwise.  He has uttered, moreover, brave words, when he avows independence of the clique and school, and disclaims all intention of acknowledging personal issues.  With the experience that he has had as the founder of the Children's Hospital, of the selfishness and arrogance, and accustomed descent to personal animosities, of that clique and school, he could say no less.  Thus far he is in accord with the mass of the physicians of New England.  He had no need to study the professional pulse, for it therein beat with his own.  If he stops here, however, as in his second issue* [Ibid, July 14, 1870, p.27.] he asks to do, he but half completes his work.  There is not merely the future to make, but the past to atone for; not a commencement with fair white sheets of paper, but a blotted file to cleanse or burn.  He is no longer Dr. B., with merely an honorable, unspotted private record, but the editor of the B. M. & S. J., with its printed history to boast or be ashamed of.

      This is a matter not concerning himself alone; it lies an unsightly nuisance of green, unburied bones bewteen him and the profession.  He carries the spade, and they disinfectants; one or the other of the twain must be applied.  He may say that matters of the past are no affairs of his; that he is but a hired servant in the hands of his publishers, and as likely as his predecessors to be thrown as a sop to that Cerberus, the advancing spirit of the profession.  Did those publishers, however, imagine, and yet judging from the past they were probably blind enough to do so, that the long series of insults to the general professional intelligence, culminating in the late attempt at whitewashing Prof. B., of Harvard College, could be forever indulged in with impunity to themselves?  Public sentiment, thus outraged, is like individual honor.  It acknowledged no half-way measures, like the persuading of a good fell, whom no gentleman could like even to seem to injure, to an editor's chair.  In such an issue, there can only be an unconditional surrender.  What, however, the Messrs. Clapp have already yielded is an acknowledgment of defeat.  The besiegers are now within their fort. p. 106-109.

                               ----------------

      It will have been perceived by our last paragraph that we would not be thought to approve of personalities, even in the way of discipline.  The calling of exact names, even for the conferring of honor, is a habit that we have never approved of, and, besides, it would be wicked in these dog-days of August to attach such resounding metal to any vertebral appendage.  A moral is always easily enough to be pointed. [!?]

      We have been a good deal amused by a letter formally sent to the Gynaecological Society by one of the oldest professors in the Medical School of this city [Who?]; upon the reflections against the Society, contained in which, a committee of its members, appointed for the purpose, have as formally returned their opinion.  Whether or not the seemingly official document was intended to express the feelings of the whole Faculty, we do not know, and it don't much matter. [!] However this may be, the letter distinctly states that it was inspired by what occurred at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Medical Society, when, as will be well recollected, that Society, partly at the instigation of the Gynaecological, took for the diploma of the Harvard School its undue advantage over those of every other college in this country, and expelled the horde of its graduates, who, under cover of that hitherto omnipotent document, "had chosen to walk in the paths of pseudo-science.* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, May 19, 1870, p. 382.  As we foretold would be the case, the Journal referred to is endeavoring, in the evident interest of the college, to persuade the Fellows of the Massachusetts Medical Society that what has been done cannot be done.  Sympathizers with quackery, as the gentlemen in this city who consult with irregular practitioners would seem to be, would be very likely to call the battle which has successfully been fought, "unconstitutional" and improper.  See Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, July 28, 1870., p. 59.]  We do not wonder that the classic lips in Grove Street dislike to drink that gall.

      We shall endeavor to outvie in courtesy the venerable gentleman, and to strip from the shoulders that have hitherto borne them what have seemed in the eyes of the profession grievous loads.  It cannot have been this person who so unwarrantably, and, had he been younger, one would have said ignorantly, defamed Prof. Oppolzer,* [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, January 27, 1870, p. 63.] and was so efficiently answered by his younger associate in the Medical School.* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, April 29, 1869[70?], p. 207.]  But the lion has lain down again with his lamb, as has been almost always the case in that happy family; where the demonstrator of anatomy, menaced by the digester of Prof. Sanborn's views upon Ununited Fracture [Is HRS referring to Henry J. Bigelow who had an article "Ununited Fracture Successfully Treated, ..." in the May 16, 1867 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal?], turns the tables upon their central point, and dictates the promotion that he at once received; where one lecturer call attention in print to another lecturer's ophthalmological wisdom;* [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, March 25, 1869, p. 136]. where the discoverer of the "oscillatory wave of the subclavian vein,"[Probably Ellis and related to the living cadaver he dissected.]--according to Tardieu, the "most curious" suggestion of all medico-legal science,--dictates the expulsion of an antagonist [probably HRS] first attacked by himself[what was this attack?  Was it the criticism of the Umbilical hernia operation?], whose attempt at obtaining a fair hearing [there should be letters requesting this hearing in Harvard Medical School files perhaps even letters to newspapers]he pronounces "a sudden fit of mental aberration;" [the quote suggests that Ellis wrote this someplace.  Find it!]and whence his own Rip Van Winkle of physiological lore periodically emerges, as the clown of the professional circus,--the glittering harlequin to amuse metaphysical babes,--the very, very expert performer at religious thimblerigging,* [*Vide "Elsie Venner"; "The Guardian Angel," etc.]--with the most extensive local reputation of all poetasters, the least egotistic of men, and therefore applying the term with the best of grace to others,--a propounder of "penance" [See "Salutatory by the Publisher"] and a doer thereof,--with a cap and bells, at olden courts, this greatest of intellectual pigmies would have been worth his weight in diamonds[identify this fellow! Holmes???]. p 109-111.

      From that shining galaxy it was that a late Professor of Obstetrics and Medical Jurisprudence, indignant at the injustice done to his son for simply speaking the truth [McGee??], would four years ago have severed himself[that would have been 1866, DHS left in 1868].  Persuaded against his wish to remain, lest his resignation, so it was pleaded, might injure the University, and blinded by evil wiles to the fact that his silence and his tarry were interpreted, as it was intended that they should be, in condemnation of that son's course [What did HRS do to require "penance"?], he for the time tied the hands that were lifted in self-defence; for a blow then struck would have seemed parricidal.  Thence at last, but none too late, the father has emerged, and the son's hands, none the weaker for their enforced delay, are again free.  [!!!]

      As members of the press, we combat only for the Right.  Individual experience, as we have said of our fresh contemporary, Dr. Brown, gives men a more lively understanding of the needs, actual or possible, of their constituents.  As we stated long ago, we recognize no personality in those whom we expose.  They are either 'unfortunate patients requiring the probe, or still more unfortunate delinquents demanding discipline." p 111-2.

      [Buckingham "malpractice" discussion.]

      If Dr. Brown cannot be induced to publish in his Journal, the explanation that it has been understood has been read before the Boston Obstetrical Society, we place our pages at the disposal of the parties interested.  We sincerely hope for their sake and that of the profession, that some such step will be taken.  One thing is certain,--an explanation, and a satisfactory one too, must be given, or else that Power, which it was decided at Washington has control even over the colleges, will apply as severe discipline to his [Buckingham's] apologists as has been wreaked upon the individual offender by the supposed sufferer." p. 112-3.

      With the [Buckingham] case, had been asked, what will be done?  The same query is already applied, in default of the explanation to which we have just alluded, to the again practically vacant chair.  Among the physicians in this city, there is one [Sinclair]for whom, till now, we have constantly labored, both with and without his knowledge.  A Scotchman, and during a session Simpson's class assistant,--brave apparently, and till it was possible that by another's manliness he might become the successor of Prof. B.[Buckingham? surely],--he stood shoulder to shoulder with ourselves in the fray of 1867 [AMA transactions should describe this fray.  WOmen physicians??  But this would make Bowditch a gay deceiver, not likely.], when certain gay deceivers here went down before the American Medical Association.  Offered a bribe to desert us then, he spurned it, and thereby won our highest respect and affection, and the hatred of those to whom we have alluded[who are "whom?" Buckingham' apologists?].  We have more than once in these pages, by name, attempted to do him honor.

      We regret that he has now compelled us to turn the leaf.  Can we, however, longer urge for the professorship, one who is publicly damning with faint praise the dead master, upon whom was builded whatever of professional reputation he has attained, and who strove to persuade from his labor of love, upon the ground that it would disgrace him,--so we learn from the gentleman himself,--the eloquent fellow-countryman, whose embalmment of Simpson's memory in the love of the outside world, we present to our readers as the supplement to this month's Journal.  Can it be because, as has been shown by his own confession, sent to us, as we mentioned last month, from the grave, he avowed one opinion concerning chloroform in Edinburgh, and has seemed to hold just the opposite in Boston?  It is not possible that he too, of all men, has at last found his price. p. 113-114.

      And such a price!  Dr. B., who afterwards bartered himself in the same slave-market, was accustomed to say of a former colleague in the old Boylston Medical School, thus manipulated, that "Prof. C. was bought, while the college was sold."  We do not like to quote such irreverent words.  Far better is it to express simple wonder, for which there has been reason enough, of the usual kind, within the last few weeks. p. 114.

      ... Similar is the case of Dr. Hawes, of the Dental School, who, treated with indignity, for no reason that we can conjecture, except his having read a paper before the Gynaecological Society[!], sends in his resignation as a subordinate, and is immediately promoted to the position of assistant professor, and confirmed as such by the Overseers of the college at the meeting of July 13th.

      While the matter was still in abeyance, we suggested to President Eliot, exercising the right of every alumnus, that it was his duty to put a stop to these disgraceful attempts at injustice, which of late years have brought such deserved discredit upon the school.  It is possible that their free ventilation may accomplish the reform which the late Dr. W. J. Walker had so much at heart, and which, delayed, at last more surely comes.  p. 115

      ... The Society met, it was generally said beforehand, to give the "arch-disturber of the public peace"[Who?  Where is this written?] his "final" quietus.  Let those who were not present imagine the confusion of those who, expecting to be executioners, were compelled to listen to such unaccustomed truths as the following.  We quote from the remarks of Dr. Henry Darwin Didama, of Syracuse, delegate from the New York State Medical Society.  These pithy, electric sentences were like the match to gunpowder.  The rock was quickly riven.

      "I should esteem it a high honor," thus Dr. Diderman, as the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal" vengefully spelled his name,* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, May 26, 1870.] "to represent the New York State Medical Society anywhere; but to be a delegate to the Massachusetts Medical Society, sitting in Boston, is a rare felicity.

      "For Boston is not only the hub, from which all good things radiate to us poor fellows in the distance, but it is the social and intellectual Mecca to which we must all make our pilgrimage, if we would live in style, and die in peace.

      "So entirely does Boston occupy our thoughts and affections, in the rural districts, that when our mothers are in a certain delicate but coveted condition, they delight to speak of themselves as 'on the road to Boston.'  And after we are fairly born, we are 'trot-trotted to Boston to buy a loaf of bread,' as a panacea for all our infantile pains and griefs.

      "The Massachusetts Medical Society occupies a high position in the medical world.  Your opinions influence, if they do not control, us.

      "When you refuse to admit to your favored circle the graduates of foreign schools, unless they shall first pass an examination before your Board of Censors, we meekly accept the conditions, and lament that we are but ignorant outside barbarians.

      The dictum, attributed to one of your early and most distinguished physicians[who?], that 'the best treatment for inflammatory rheumatism is six weeks,' has undoubtedly condemned many a poor wretch to a month of needless suffering.

      Your Society, it is well known, tabooed chloroform.  Now, such is our confidence in your decisions, that although we, in the western wilds, venture to use chloroform occasionally, we always do so with great fear and trembling.  I know that my friend S_____ has a charitable word for the European anaesthetic [English/Scottish, opposed I think in Europe.]; but then you are all aware that S_____ is regarded here in Boston as little better than a heathen man and a publican.* [*When the votes vindicating the authority of the American Medical Association over the College and the Society were passed, a few moments after the above remarks were made, Dr. ____, of this city, apparently forgetting his own past history[dissection of a hanged man?], turned to the senior editor of this Journal, and exclaimed in great heat, that he wished "S_____ was hung, and" (to give greater point to the remark we suppose) "thrown out of the window."]

      "You have a wise and witty poet-physiologist belonging to your Society [Holmes: "if the whole materia medica, as now used, could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind,--and all the worse for the fishes." What were DHS and HRS reactions in the resulting turmoil; BMSJ (Oct. 11, 1860, p225); MMS, Medical communications, IX, Appendix, 148].  Some time ago he declared that medicines do as much harm as good.  Our respect for his judgment and experience was such that we were restrained from casting the contents of all our drug shops into the sea, only by our sharing with him a tender regard for the welfare of the fishes.

      "You may well be proud of your Society; for although we foreigners do sometimes complain of your exclusiveness and your rigid adherence to Boston notions, we are happy to admit that you preserve the medical faith in its purity; that you stand fast by the Code of Ethics; that you preserve your garments unspotted from contact with irregular practitioners; and that you labor, wisely and well, to elevate the standard of medical education."

      We regret that such a volley of sarcasm as this had come to be required.  [Find correspondence with Didama of Syracuse.  Storer probably was responsible for his appearance.]  It served, however, to show our mutual admirationists the contempt with which they are viewed by the leaders of opinion elsewhere.  Think, for instance, of a western journalist not long since saying,--we dislike to reproduce such language,--of the great pan-jandrum of Boston physic,[J. Bigelow] whom Gov. Claflin said at the Massachusetts Society's dinner was his choice as family attendant because he gave less medicine than the homeopaths, that he had essayed "to bestride the continent like a veritable Colossus (this was before the California trip), and had split himself asunder in the vain attempt."

      It is unpleasant thus to have to hold the mirror up to nature.  It were far more to our taste to edit "The Ploughshare," or "The Pruning Hook," than "The Lantern," or "La Marseillaise."  One sometimes has had "to learn his lesson in a bitter school.  Yet if the pupil be of a texture to bear it, the best university that can be recommended is the gauntlet of the mobs.  Upon such a pupil, neither money, nor politeness, nor hard words, nor eggs, nor blows, nor brickbats, make any impression,"* [*Society and Solitude. Fields, Osgood, & Co., Boston, 1870,p. 85.]  "The power of Chatham, of Pericles, of Luther," continues the man of peace, "rested on this strength of character, which, because it did not and could not fear anybody, made nothing of their antagonists, and became sometimes exquisitely provoking and sometimes terrific to these." p. 116-119.

      In view of the fact that there are Fellows of the Massachusetts Medical Society, now in full standing, who are habitual abortionists, the Gynaecological Society has decided, by vote at its meeting of June 21st, to take the initiative towards their expulsion from the State Society,  It therefore invites evidence of such a character as shall ensure conviction, with reference to any case that may have occurred within the limits of Massachusetts.

      We have already referred in these pages to the frequency of the crime, its true character, and its effect in causing serious uterine maladies.  The Society considers the prevention of disease even more important than its cure; and it is a matter of congratulation that in one notorious instance, that at Lynn,* [*This Journal, September, 1869, p. 188; January, 1870, p. 62.] the physicians of the neighborhood are taking such steps as shall tend to vindicate, so far as they are concerned, the good name of the profession. [Hopefully, more on this story to come. Else find other source.]

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, September, 1870.

29th regular meeting , March 1, 1870.

      Dr. Storer directed the attention of the Society to the very great importance of the subject now under consideration, solving perfectly and scientifically, as did the explanation presented, very many mysterious problems in gynaecology, otherwise wholly unaccountable.  The topic was to him peculiarly interesting, as the members well knew.  When, i 1864, he first announced to the profession his conviction that a large proportion of the cases of insanity occurring in women were of pelvic causation, a point which seemed to have been previously almost wholly unappreciated, his views were very generally ridiculed, more especially by those having the charge of asylums, tending as they did towards necessitating a revolution both in the study and treatment of insane women.  He was happy to believe, however, that year by year psychologists as well as general practitioners were coming more and more to accept his conclusions.  They would be found to be fully corroborated by Prof. Mayer, who has established, by gynaecological evidence, every point that had previously been made; while Dr. Storer, prevented by ill health [What?] from working out the outline of research that he had indicated in his voluminous report made to the American Medical Association in 1865,* [check date][*Transactions of the Association, Vol. XVI., p. 123] had brought together an immense amount of confirmatory data from the writings of alienists themselves.

      The special point presented to the Society at this meeting from Prof. Mayer's memoir, the mental disturbances of young girls depending upon sexual irritation previous to the establishment of puberty, was one that would be thought by "prurient prudes" of our own sex unworthy scientific discussion.  Its importance, however, would be recognized by all honest physicians.  Dr. Storer had published a paper upon the subject, several years ago, [On Self-Abuse ..] that had elicited warm commendation from Prof. Brown-Se'quard, whose experience had been identical with his own.  He considered it of great importance to recognize the fact that the habit was in the majority of cases the result of reflex irritation from hemorrhoids, ascarides, and the like, and not from any propensity to vicious indulgence.  Ordinarily, by bearing this in mind, the existence of the habit could be ascertained without any shock to the sensibilities of the patient.

      Dr. Warren had not doubt that masturbation was much more frequent in women than is generally supposed, even in the very best class of patients.  He reported two cases now under his charge, one of the being a young person, and the other fifty-one years of age, and past the climacteric. 

      Dr. Field referred to the difficulty and embarrassment, oftentimes, of asking the critical question, so necessary, however, for the patients cure.  He had been led to believe, from frequent observation of the symptoms, that a peculiarly cold and clammy condition of the hand was always present in masturbators, whether male or female.  Its existence had repeatedly helped him in the diagnosis of important cases, where he would otherwise have remained in doubt.  It wasnot necessarily accompanied by any general nervous depression. p, 149-50.

      Dr. Storer referred to a case of suicide during the catamenial molimem, and immediately after yielding to the tendency to self-abuse, so marked at that time in certain patients, that he had formerly placed upon record.* [*BMSJ, April 7, 1864.]  In ascertaining the presence of the habit in women, one could not be governed by the presence of absence of symptoms of general lassitude and nervous depression, for masturbation, not being attended by the exhausting discharge in women that is present in men, did not produce in them so marked an effect.

      Dr. Weston had failed to find in these cases the assertion of some writers that there is necessarily any enlargement of the clitoris or nymphae present, borne out by facts.

      Dr. Warren, on the other hand, had repeatedly seen this hypertrophy in masturbators.

      Dr. Storer believed that while in many instances there were present other physical signs of the habit, the existence of the condition referred to was neither necessary nor confirmatory.  Where such enlargement did exist, it was as likely to be from coincidence as from consequence, and might, from the irritation produced by the increased contact of the parts, give rise to exaggerated hyperaesthesia. Dr.S. had repeatedly had to excise hypertrophied nymphae for this indication; in one instance, in a female physician, who in warm weather was constantly impelled to local trituration by the hand from the chafing of the pendulous nymphae. p. 150-152.

      Dr. Storer mentioned the asperity with which some of the suggestions presented in the paper [surgical treatment of hemorrhoids] he had just read were received when communicated at a medical meeting in this city several years since, and detailed the peculiar history of the memoir itself.*[*See this Journal, April, 1870, p. 221, and May, p. 213.]

30th regular meeting , March 15, 1870.

      ... and by invitation, Drs. A. L. Norris, of East Cambridge; J. P. Ordway [former critic, no?] and Carl Both, of Boston; and J.S> Flint, of Boston Highlands.

      [reprint of tents for dilation paper]

      Those interested, continued Dr. Storer, in the progressive development of the new idea, would do well to compare Dr. Barnes' earliest papers upon the subject, as in the "Edinburgh Medical Journal" for 1862, and the "Obstetrical Transactions" for the same year, with his remarks in the admirable work he has lately given to the profession.* [*Obstetric Operations, ... 1870.]  It would be apparent that the point made by Dr. Storer that the dilatation to be safest and most effective should be in close imitation of nature, and therefore "from above downward," was correct, and it would be perceived from Dr. Barnes' very cautious admissions, whence it was that the suggestion so admirably and successfully carried out by him and now so generally accepted by the profession, was in reality derived. p. 165.

      Dr. Storer, referring to the advantage that was often gained in uterine cases of a strumous character by the administration of

                                COD-LIVER OIL,

exhibited a specimen of that prepared by Capt. Nathaniel E. Atwood, of Provincetown, Mass., as probably the best ever put upon the market in this country.  Of its purity he could vouch from personal inspection of its manufacture.[!  Was Atwood still manufacturing such?]  ... p. 165

      Dr. Storer was glad to learn that the operation, which had been so decried in Boston, was at last being adopted.  The credit of introducing rupture of the sphincter into this country belonged not to himself, but to Prof. Van Buren, of New York.  It was first practised by Recamier.  So far as Dr. Storer could learn, however, both these gentlemen had used it only for treatment of anal fissure, while he had extended its use to most of the other affections of the rectum.  He had very lately learned that Dr. Van Buren was also using it for the relief of hemorrhoids, in accordance with the method described by himself to the Suffolk District Medical Society several years since.

Dr. Field had great respect for the treatment by rupture, and intended by his previous remarks only to condemn the use of the knife.

      Dr. Warner thought it a very great advance to be able to put the sphincter ani at rest.  Cure would then be effected, no matter how frequently the bowels were moved.  During the two years that he had been with Dr. Storer he had certainly seen rupture performed in several hundred cases, and there had never been any subsequent loss of retentive power.  In more than one instance the operation had been subsequently repeated in the same patient for some other indication, without any evil result. p. 172.

      Dr. Storer referred to the different effect of the two drugs upon the cerebrum, -- the one producing anaemia, and the other hyperaemia, of the brain, as shown by direct observation in cases where a portion of that organ was exposed.  I a late case, occurring in his own family, where one of his sons had fractured his skull, [!!] he had not hesitated to put the boy several days afterwards, when he had recovered consciousness, under chloroform for an hour and a half, while Dr. Cheever was exploring for any concealed injury.  In this case, the surgeon's opinion was that chloroform had behaved better than ether would probably have done.  The tabulation of deaths from chloroform had been made with extreme unfairness.*  The mortality always existing, and that had been present long before anaesthetics were thought of, from shock, etc., was now attributed to chloroform. p. 174.

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, September, 1870, 189-208.  [almost totally devoted to essay on specialism and science by Hubbard.]

      "Examine critically the writings of any other specialist, -- of Churchill, West, Spencer Wells, Wilson, Beale, and Roberts; of Matthews Duncan, Keith, Graily Hewitt, Bowman,, and McClintock; of Byford, Emmed, and Peaslee; Sims, Thomas, and S------, with scores of others whom I might name,--and if you detect in them evidences of 'narrowness,' I beg to inquire by what standard have they been measured? p. 198.

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, October, 1870, 210-211.

      The Secretary [HRS] having presented, in the name of Messrs. Perkins, Stern, & Vo., of Boston, several specimens of California wines and brandy from their own vineyards, upon motion of Dr. Field the Society resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole for the purpose of testing, by tasting, these therapeutic appliances.

      Dr. Sullivan stated that he had found the California Hock of this house of great advantage in the treatment of menorrhagia and metrorrhagia.

      Dr. Lewis had also seen great benefit from the Hock, chiefly in certain classes of dyspeptic cases.

      Dr. Storer had long entertained a very respectful of the California Angelica and Muscatel, for nervous invalids, debilitated by uterine disease, and from what he had learned of the purity and reliability of the California Port, he was inclined to think very highly of its employment in cases attended with too great laxity of the intestinal canal.  There could be no doubt that where stimulants were really indicated, the use of the agents now upon the table was far preferable to that of the stronger liqueurs. p. 211.

      Conversation turning upon the general subject of the employment of alcoholic stimulants in the treatment of disease, Dr. Storer remarked that certain important questions were too often lost sight of.  They had been brought up and discussed in the State a year or two since, when a prohibitory liquor law was being urged, but the evidence adduced on either side, though published, was buried beneath a mass of legislative side issues.

      There could be no doubt that in some cases alcohol, in one or another of its forms, was indicated, and that in others, were a stimulant was needed, bitter infusions and aqueous extracts answered as good a purpose, without causing the risk of awakening in the patient an often uncontrollable thirst.

      Few physicians would honestly say that drunkenness on the part of its citizens was of any advantage to a city or State, putting aside the income of a few liquor dealers; and few but that would affirm that our insane asylums, almshouses, jails, and prisons were chiefly supplied from those who habitually employed stimulants; and yet, at the investigation referred to, the most prominent hospital surgeon and teacher in this city had given it as his opinion that "the drinking usages of society were not at all to be deprecated." [Who? Jacob Bigelow?  More likely his son.]

      ...

      With women the case was somewhat different. ... There could be no doubt that physicians were here accountable for a very great amount of physical, mental, and moral impairment.  The alcohol was ... not for the purpose of nourishing a consumptive patient or rousing one who was moribund, but for that of temporarily removing the malaise consequent upon an extravagant keeping of late hours or indulgence in other forms of dissipation, or for deadening the remorse of our thousands of self-abortionists [!].  In exceptional cases compared with these, though still very common, was its prescription for the relief of pain, more especially that of dysmenorrhoea, from whatever cause.  Instead of ascertaining by a careful examination the exact character of the malady, and then treating it accordingly, the deadly placebo was prescribed which often consigned the unfortunate woman to premature decrepitude and practical death.  He had seen too many instances of this not to speak as he had done.  There could be no doubt that very many of the opium, liquor, and chloroform [!] drunkards that we are called upon to treat among the better class of women were primarily confirmed int he habit by causes within the control of the medical art, provided only its resources were properly brought to bear.

      The Secretary presented, in the name of Hon.[Politician?] N. E. Atwood, of Provincetown, a large fibrous abdominal tumor from a haddock pediculated, and weighing three-quarters of a pound, while the fish itself, which seemed otherwise healthy, only weighed five pounds.  Subjected to the microscope, Dr. Bixby had failed to find any very material difference from the tissue of ordinary fibrous tumor of the uterus.

      Dr. Storer reported, and exhibited a specimen from, a case of malingering, it being one of feigned passage of hair from the bladder. ... p. 210-213.

      Dr. Storer stated that he was happy to be put right, as he had been by Dr. Fisher. [on causation of double monstrosities]  The edition of Carpenter which he had himself examined was of an earlier date; and, while his own views had been the result of independent reflection, he must grant that he had been superseded by the gentleman who had so long before forestalled him.  The members of the Society would recollect that there was not one of them present at the meetig at which his paper was read who was aware of the suggestion of fissuration by Carpenter; and the same was true of a meeting of the Suffolk District Medical Society, at which he had taken occasion to broach his theory. p. 215

      Dr. Storer thought that a more reasonable objection would have been in the statement that he was thirty years older, and therefore more feeble, as he was also from having been long exposed to the depressing influences of the city. p. 222.

      Dr. Storer, from repeated observation of Dr. Garratt's skillful application of the new electrodes upon patients of his own in consultation, could testify to their great efficacy. p. 233.

      Dr. Storer called attention to the fact that there were certain matters initiated by, or otherwise interesting to, the Society which should come before the American Medical Association at its coming session in May.  These were

      I. The Memorial of the Society in behalf of a proper system fo instruction in gynaecology at American Medical Colleges.  This was presented at the last meeting of the Association, and upon motion of Dr. N.S. Davis, a Professor at Chicago, its discussion, in the absence of any member of the Society, had been postponed.

      II. The action of the Society condemnatory of the resolution passed by the Association last year relative to the insertion of their cards in medical journals by special practitioners; and,

      III. The discriminative and prohibitory tariff laid upon the graduates of other medical colleges, save Harvard, in the matter of admission to the Massachusetts Medical Society.

      Upon motion, the Secretary was directed to bring these several matters, in behalf of the Society, to the attention of the Association, presenting the latter of them by a former memorial, to be signed by himself and the President. p 236-7.

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, October, 1870, 253-272.

Address by Dr. Didama, of Syracuse, President of the Medical Association of Central New York probably at their annual meeting in Rochester since Rochester Times published it.

      In this country the history of gynaecology has presented some curious phases.  In New York, where every one find enough to do in minding his own business, without meddling with the affairs of his neighbors, Sims, Emmet, Elliot, Bozeman, and a score of others not so generally known, have pursued their beneficent calling without molestation.

      "In Boston, when _____, who had been the student and companion of the eminent Sir James Y. Simpson, proposed to devote himself to the treatment of woman's diseases, he was gravely and significantly warned by the oracles of the Hub [What is the Hub?] that the respectability of the Hub would never tolerate any such specialty.  The young surgeon, happening to possess manliness as well as genius, audaciously determined to follow his own convictions of duty, and, if necessary, to fight, single-handed, the entire force of respectable conservatism.

      "The war was opened with vigor, and prosecuted with unrelenting bitterness.  The old London arguments [Bennet described earlier] were re-hashed, and spiced with much original gall.

      "They began with the complacent assurance that Boston ladies would never, no, never, admit that they were subject to diseases incident elsewhere to the sex, and tapered down to the fearful whine and sneer that Boston ladies were no better than they should be, after all.

      "The profession in the rural districts rallied to the support of their persecuted brother,--whose business increased to magnificent proportions,--while the conservatives only caught a Tartar convert, in the person of a Mrs. Dall,[!] who overdid the business, and brought ridicule and confusion upon her friends, by declaring that the presence of a male physician, in the sick chamber of a lady patient, always excites her sexual propensities.

      "'Hoist by their own petard,' the conservatives at once dropped the delicacy and morality dodge, and watched with more or less satisfaction, the growth of the Boston Gynaecological Society, which already numbers amongst its members many of the best surgeons in this country and Europe. ... p. 255-257.

      Writing at Mount Desert, [where is that?] that delightful bridal-place of mountain and sea, where every breath is a tenfold renewal of life and a few days' vacation restores a vigor almost forgotten, we yield ourselves, not unwillingly, to its softening influences.  Meeting here but kindly faces, how can one preserve even in his thoughts the semblance of any antagonism, or feel other than a brother's interest in all that pertains to the welfare of those distant medical circles at home?  We take the opportunity for peaceful reflection upon issues no more personal than public, that have from time to time been forced upon us, and it is true that we have not hesitated to accept.

      At heart originally very conservative, so far as concerns holding to the old landmarks, we have become, almost in spite of ourselves, one of the leaders in what is acknowledged to be already a very powerful Opposition; and we have it in our power, we find, to widen or close rifts in the profession which are rapidly ceasing to be local in their character.  Old friends, new friends, have counselled us.  We have listened to them or not, as occasion seemed to require.  And now, as we rest from the turmoil of the moment in this sweet quiet, there come back to us varied words of admonition, encouragement, denunciation, written and spoken, by living and dead.  To all of the we give patient heed.

      Musing as we are doing in print, it is with no intention of putting ourselves upon any defence.  There are those, however, who have desired, and they have the right, to know why, as editors of a journal which has secured an unexpected degree of success, we have assumed what has been termed, and approved as, a distinctive policy.* [*New York Medical Journal, August, 1870, p. 101.]

      1. We have gently touched, first upon this side and then upon that, as with a shepherd's crook,--which directs, imperceptibly it may be, but usually surely enough, towards any desired end, provided that this be well defined, duly determined upon, in itself proper, and followed with persistence,--certain public institutions, well known to the profession throughout the country, and supposed by the inhabitants of this city to be models of their kind.

      2.  We have referred, disrespectfully some say, to individuals, towards several of whom, apart from their connection with the institutions referred to, we still entertain a personal regard.

      3.  We have initiated, or assisted in, the correction of abuses, in opinion and in practice, to which these institutions have been committed, or towards confirming others in which their influence, both public and private, has been uniformly exerted.

      4.  We have alluded, in sufficiently distinct terms, to the fact that our native city, charming place of residence though it be, etc., etc., does not constitute, as seems to have been supposed by some of its residents, the whole universe, hum, spokes, rim, and tire.  And it is said, that,

      5.  While aiming at breaking the power of a certain little local "ring" of professional politicians, we have assisted in establishing a clique whose perspective influence, just as its aim and resources, is, in comparison with the power it is supplanting, simply boundless.

      And what interest, it has been asked by those who have opposed us, can this Boston ferment, general though it has become, possibly have for the distant subscribers to the Society's Journal?

      A single word will answer this question.  Every point in "medical politics," as we have termed it, that interests one physician, interests all.  Whether in Calcutta or in Edinburgh, Denver or East Eden, a right or a wrong lies at the foundation of every local question that can be agitated, and there exists beneath and beyond this, moreover, an identity in the questions themselves which renders every petty and every major solution of absorbing interest to the intelligent reader.  Whether it be Evans of Paris and Marion Sims at blows about the conducting of ambulances, or Sayre of New York coming unscathed from the courts, or Hibberd of Indiana and Martin of Boston Highlands insisting upon the necessity of general, compulsory vaccination, there is but one fundamental inquiry, Wherein lies the right?  To find this out, concerns all men.  It concerns all, likewise, that the right shall finally prevail.

      But why, we are asked, do you place yourselves, or, as we prefer to word it, permit yourselves to be placed, eternally in antagonism?  "To what?" we merely reply.  We are not in antagonism to real professional advance, of whatever sort or of whatever character.  We believe that we shall be found working side by side with all good and true men, as regards the improvement of medical education, the weeding of ignorance, deceit, and crime from the professional field, the solution of vexed questions in theory and practice, and the recognition of individual merit.  Is it in antagonism to the opponents of such progress that we are charged with being?  If so, we frankly acknowledge the truth of the allegation; and may our hand forget its cunning [What does this phrase mean?] ere we cease from the strife.

      With reference to certain specific statements to which we have alluded, it is perfectly understood in Boston, and the fact is well enough appreciated by the host of physicians elsewhere who have had residence here of longer than a week's duration, that the whole affair, dating from its true outset, lies in a nutshell: a determination upon the part of a few--and at first they were indeed a very few--that gynecology should be acknowledged and treated with becoming respect, and upon the part of the many that it should not be.[!!]  Every personal misunderstanding in which as editors, and we might also say as individuals, has had herein its point of departure.[!]

      "Is this possible?" we are asked.  "Is it really true of the position, every day growing more and more serious, that you have assumed with regard to the Medical School of Harvard University?"  We soberly ask ourselves the same question, down here in the wilds of Mt. Desert, and we reply, in all sincerity, that therein the whole trouble began.  Ellis and Hodges and Minot, Holmes and Bigelow and Jackson[which?] and White (Buckingham we count out as having practically placed himself beyond the circle referred to),--all those, in a word, of the group who may have found themselves under the editorial ban, with trouble for themselves in the past or future, owe it to one or another of their own number, and not, we can truly say, to ourselves.  They may affect not to remember, it might be inconvenient for them to do so, the real beginning of the breach.[When and what was this?]

      "Just as though it were his mother," President Eliot once wrote to us, "when a man strikes his Alma Mater, the presumption is against him."  To that extent, and only in default of valid reason to the contrary, we acknowledge that the presumption does lie.  But there's a limit to parental discipline, and when a child, or an alumnus, is disciplined without due cause, the parent sometimes comes, with justice, to a greater grief.[What was the effect of Horatio's attack on Harvard/Eliot on Eliot's brother in law, Francis Humphreys Storer?]

      "How could he deliberately forfeit," was asked of a friend the other day, by one of the teachers in The School, "His certainty of a professorship in Harvard University?"  "Why," it was replied, "is it possible that you think that he has no higher ambition than a chair in a second-rate medical college?"

      No man has reason to have, or has, a higher respect for the University than ourselves.  No man has a more sincere belief in what the Medical School, in other hands than the present, may yet become.  For our own part, having long since relinquished the dream of our younger life, when denied the privilege of teaching youthful students, we turned to the higher task of removing the rust from full-grown men.  We have personally nothing to gain and nothing to lose by our course towards the college.  Maturer judgment has taught us that, rather than work for the establishment of a second school, which a couple of years back [approximately 1868] would have been opened [get more information on this 1868 plan.--Was it the Nov. 1867 Post-Graduate effort that Buckingham somehow scuttled?] had it not been for the treachery of one [Who?] in whom we had confided [hard to believe this person would have been Buckingham] against our better reason, it were better to examine into the foundations of the old concern.  If our gentle taps reveal now and then a flaw or a bit of decay, so much the better in the end for the college and the true interests of the profession.

      There's a power at last at work as certain and as resistless as death.  Strange changes have occurred at Cambridge within a twelvemonth.  Stranger than these are yet to come.  We have repeatedly scourged in this Journal the Boston tendency to deprecate the great medical centre of this country, New York.  In our May number we referred to the Faculty of the Long Island School, with the wish that certain of them were only here to do much needed missionary work.  In our August number we alluded to the unfitness for his post, of the then[Holmes remained, not so?] incumbent of the Physiological chair at the Harvard School.[Holmes??]  Is it a mere coincidence that within a month from that time, at a special meeting of the Board of Overseers of the University, there was appointed to lecture in the department of Physiology, Dr. Lusk,--a gentleman competent, there is every reason to believe, to redeem it from the disrepute into which of late years it had justly fallen,--who is at once a resident of New York city and a professor in the Brooklyn School?

      One more strip from the old rag known as the Boston Policy torn off and gone to the winds!  Another soon.

      And so, listening to the rote of the sea and drinking in these refreshing draughts from a purer atmosphere, we have answered our own and our friends' questionings, and we patiently bide our time. p 257-263.

      Comments on inappropriate acceptance by the Western Province's more than tacit recognition of the sects. p. 264

      Comments on fact that "in Ontario the Cambridge degree had been pointedly refused recognition by the Examining Board, because of the gross incompetence of persons who had presented themselves fresh from graduation at that school."

      Of the courtesy with which, as a delegate from the American Medical Association, we have been received at Ottawa, we need not speak.  Meeting many old friends, encircled by men by far the majority of whom have been bred across the water, and who acknowledge the same teachers and doctrines as ourselves, our trip has been indeed to a professional Mecca, and we return more sure than before that our daily path, over whatever roughnesses it may be, points towards the only true and worthy goal.

      "Issues no more personal than public," we have said, are each and all that this Journal has yet discussed.  And when we write, discarding the wiles of a hackneyed and but semi-astute diplomacy, we use plain English, and touch the thing, whatever it may chance to be, with the needle's point.

      Early in the present month, at the Stated Meeting of the Councillors of the Massachusetts Medical Society, a report is to be made by a Star-chamber Committee, consisting of Drs. Wellington, of Cambridgeport, Millet, of Bridgewater, Savory, of Lowell, Bronson, of Attlleboro', and Hosmer, of Watertown, who have been appointed to consider what shall be done with certain physicians of this city and State, who were instrumental in procuring the action by the American Medical Association, in May last, with reference to the Society mentioned, irregular practitioners, and the Medical College.

      Inasmuch as the action in question was wholly based upon a formal memorial from the Gynaecological Society to the Association, duly presented and considered by that body, and was not obtained by any individual or individuals as such, we look with curiosity for the report of the committee.  It is intimated that an attempt will be made to evade the question by laying the matter upon the table, or affecting to consider the Massachusetts Medical Society as the victim of a stupendous joke.  This, however, we do not intend to permit.  We demand that the report be made.  When this has been done, it will be time for us to consider who are the partied to be pilloried.

      It is not necessary for us to call the attention of the Councillors from the country districts to the importance of their attending the coming meeting, the result of which may have somewhat to do with the future harmony, and, perchance, the very existence, of the State Society. p 266-7.

      Meanwhile, we have been admitted behind the tawdry scenes of the great congressional puppet-show at Washington, and, without our own seeking, one of the chief managers' wires has been placed in our hands.  Upon what purely selfish and personal issues hang, usually and everywhere, great public destinies!  Nine Yankee carpet-baggers, so runs the record sent to us through one of themselves from their great captain-in-chief, have been detailed to the little State of Massachusetts, in the midsummer heat, to enter into meetings of its medical societies and the caucuses of a gubernatorial campaign, nominally to unmask a so-called bid, twenty years in advance, by an obscure individual [HRS?] for the Presidency of the American Medical Association, but in reality to stir the political caldron with our National Association as the disturbing-stick, in the vain hope that the old question that both North and South believe is at last buried forever, may perchance be made to rise again for the moment, to vex men's souls and to secure a patent political end. [Try to get a handle on this.]

      A plague upon such demagogues.  If certain public men whom we might name, and whom as Northerners we have to this time always supported, desire by striking at our profession, privately or publicly, collectively or as individuals, to create what may prove the nucleus, however seemingly insignificant at first, of a great reactionary movement in American politics, for which the times are rapidly ripening, we deprecate, but might not refuse to accept, the challenge. p 267-9.

      In our issue for August we gave a brief notice of the fact that the physicians of Lynn were taking steps to bring to merited judgment one of their own member, Dr. Asa T. Newhall, who for many years has brought reproach upon the profession by the habitual and unconcealed practice of criminal abortion.  Since then we learn that the complaint was made out in due form, signed by nearly all the regular physicians of the city , and forwarded to the President of the Massachusetts Medical Society.  The trial took place at Boston, on Thursday, Sept. 1st, the accused with his accusers having been summoned to appear before the Board of five Commissioners designated by the President of the Society to try the case.

      The charge against the accused was in substance that he had been guilty of grossly immoral conduct in the practice of criminal abortion.  In order to give directness to the accusation four instances were specified from among the many within the knowledge of Lynn physicians, in which the crime alluded to had been committed.  These did not include the cases which had been brought prominently before the public through coroners' inquests and judicial proceedings.

      Notwithstanding the man's well-known effrontery of character, he did not have the hardihood to attempt even a show of defence, but allowed the case to go against him by default.  He was doubtless well aware that his presence would only furnish opportunity for a more emphatic and detailed declaration of his crimes, without affording the slightest possible hope of acquittal.  And he doubtless felt, too, that the moral sense of the community, so long outraged and defied, was at last aroused, and would be satisfied with nothing short of the most condign punishment.

      His expulsion has purged our ranks of one dishonorable name.  Are there any others?  Let us look well to it!  A ball has been set in motion which should not cease rolling; a movement has been inaugurated which should not be arrested until it has overthrown the grim Moloch to whom our children are being yearly sacrificed in numbers that would seem incredible to one not familiar with the statistics of the abominable rite.  Earnest, persistent labor is required, both inside and outside of the profession.  In our keeping, fellow-physicians, lies the great issue.  We can, in time, create a healthy public sentiment where it does not now exist.  We can speak out boldly and let people know what we, who have had the best opportunities for investigating the subject, think of criminal abortion, both in its medical and legal aspects.  In this way we can at least drive the harpy from the abodes of the virtuous and good, where it too often makes its foul nest, and banish it to regions inhabited by persons of no doubtful character.

      The physicians of Lynn have done their duty tardily but well; and from remarks we have heard dropped, they do not intend to let the matter rest there, but will keep a watchful eye upon the culprit, whose presence would better grace the inside of the State Prison than the free streets and homes of a Puritan city.

      It is unpleasant to use such language with reference to any individual; but it is intended for Dr. Newhall as the representative--and a fitting one, too--of a class.  We have such an utter abhorrence of any man who could for a long lifetime derive his income from, and grow rich upon, the profits of this nefarious business, that the strongest language seems tame when we are writing upon the subject. p 268-271. [What did Dr. Newhall do after all this?]

      We have for some time been intending to say a word to our readers upon the importance, in a gynaecological light, of providing a better system of public "latrinae" in all our large cities, and of a better arrangement of apparatus for a similar purpose in private dwellings.  ... p. 271

      We have spoken of the general subject of cabinets d'asisance [???] for females.  There are many topics of equal special interest to which we intend, by and by, to refer.  Such are, the injurious effects of the sewing-machine, and the means of averting them; the common-school system of New England in its relations to female scholars and female teachers; the physical evils of intentional sterility in the married; and the employment by the unmarried, of the worse than Pompeiian thalli, now unblushingly sold at the rubber stores of this city. p. 272

 

Notes to Dr. Bixby's Translation of Prof. L. Mayer, on the Relations of the female Sexual Organs to Mental Disease." Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, May, 1870. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, August, 1870. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, April, 1871.  Toner, p.13.

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, November, 1870.

33rd Rgular meeting, May 3, 1870.  Storer at AMA in Washington. Resolution of problem of practical anaesthesia resolution favoring Wells telegraphed to Storer.

 

"Lacing the breast: A New Operation for Removal of the Mamma." Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston. November, 1870, 291-293.  Toner, p.13.

      This method of coaptating the lips of a mammary wound I have found in practice to have several decided advantages:--

1. union throughout the wound as well as superficially

2. prevents formation of a pocket of pus

3. saves drain upon her general system from a hollow wound

4. materially lessens the chance of a return of the disease

5. It very much lessens the resulting deformity,--a matter of even more importance in removing non-malignant tumors of the mamma, where the gland being left, or a portion of it, with the nipple, it becomes possible subsequently to use the breast for lactation.

      There are now few surgeons who do not appreciate the advantages of securing primary union of incised wounds, save those connected with large hospitals whose local atmosphere is such as to encourage the occurrence of surgical fever.  Until the whole theory of hospital management in this country and in Europe becomes changed in accordance with Simpson's suggestion, ... p 292-3.

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, November, 1870, 314-336.

      Effaced at last for the By-Laws of the Massachusetts Medical Society is the clause permitting the graduates of the Medical School of Harvard University to enter that Society upon the mere presentation of their diploma. ...

      The history of the struggle just ended will be found to have, like all others, its lessons.  Prior to 1869 there had existed a latent feeling in the profession here that the old Society-College compact was an iniquitous one, but as usual the business which concerned everybody was attended to by none.  At the Annual Meeting of the Society, in 1869, it was proposed that the compact should be abrogated, ...

      The motion was made [by whom? HRS?], and it was seconded by Prof. J.B.S. Jackson, of the Medical School,--a gentleman whose instincts are good, however wrongly he may at times permit himself to be manipulated by those whose pecuniary interests may seem identical with his own.  Dr. Jackson's remarks were immediately and bitterly opposed by his colleague, Prof. Henry J. Bigelow, who claimed that because the privilege had once been granted to the College, it had become a vested right, and as such was never to be relinquished.  The President of the Society for the time being, the son-in-law of a deceased professor in the College [who are dead father and son-in-law?  Are they James Jackson and Charles G. Putnam?], succeeded in choking off the call for a vote upon the question, and it passed by the rules to the subsequent meeting of the Councillors, several months afterwards.  These gentlemen, according to time-honored precedent in matters affecting the interests of the College, decided that no change was necessary.  The successive manoeuvres thus far detailed were described by us at the time they occurred.

      ...

      And lastly, "Forgotten!"  Most likely plea of all.  It was "forgetfulness" rather than malice that dealt the "fould blow"* {See this Journal for February, 1870, p.112.] at Sir James Simpson from the hand of an ex-professor in The School.  It was "forgetfulness" rather than ignorance that disgraced the physicians of New England in the matter of the little pamphlet that was issued from its Obstetrical Chair "for the benefit of the medical profession."

      And, to ourselves personally the most amusing instance of all, it was "forgetfulness" of a certain insult once attempted to be given by the College Faculty to H. R. Storer,--the atonement for which the Fates are now so steadily bringing,--that wrote us so lately as July 13, 1870, the following note.  It is from one of the most prominent professors now in The School[Who?  Earlier Rip Van Winkle was Holmes and this is probably the "prominent professor."]: "I had entirely forgotten the action of the Medical Faculty in regard to yourself; of course I have no recollection of any part that I took in it."

      After such an exhibition as this, who can feel for poor Rip Van Winkle--whether asleep or awake again, and whatever the chair that he nominally fills--other than a sense of pitying sympathy, or do else than try to forget likewise, however hard it may be to forgive? p 319-319.

      We have already more than once alluded to the false promises, unintentional of course (as to Brown-Se'quard's lecturing, etc., etc.), that from time to time in years past have been made regarding the "unequalled" facilities for medical instruction existing in Boston.  These romancings, we are now happy to be able to state, were wholly and only owing to "forgetfulness."

      It was "forgetfulness" that used all sorts of means, fair and unfair, to prevent the establishment of the City Hospital, until its control had been gained by the Medical School.

      It was "forgetfulness" that endeavored to jugulate the Children's Hospital by that letter in the "Boston Daily Advertiser," signed by the Medical Superintendent of the Massachusetts General Hospital, and written in the interests of the Medical College.

      It was "forgetfulness" that denied* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, April, 1867, p.204.] the direct action that had been taken by The School in attempting to prevent Tufts College from adding to its charter the right of conferring medical degrees.

      It was "forgetfulness" that could not remember having pursued the same intolerant course with regard to obtaining its charter by the Boston Dental College.

      It was "forgetfulness," moreover,--could it have been aught else?--that stated in a semi-official editorial only last year, that "The School was never in a more prosperous condition; the number of matriculants this year exceeds all previous ones;"[Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, November 1869, p.283.] when its actual register showed that the number of bona fide students was in reality less than it had been for several years previously.  We happen to have in our possession, from a perfectly trustworthy source, the figures themselves.

      It is "forgetfulness" of the importance, nay, of the very existence, of gynaecology, and of the exhortation of the American Medical Association that a chair should be established for its instruction at every medical college, and of the fact that most of the other schools have already done so, that still prevents their good example from being followed in Boston. [When was this corrected? Who filled the chair of Gynaecology?]

      These have been instances of petty trickery unworthy the name and the fame of a great University, as every one of its sons must truthfully claim old Harvard to be.  Such, we shame to confess it, such has been the history of the Medical School.  It is time that the beneficent and efficient besom that is so rapidly sweeping professorial spiders from their lurking-places, and whisking from ancient stones and mummies the dust that for years has been settling upon them, should find its way to the corner were so much work awaits it.  We trust, sincerely, that the class about matriculating will prove the largest that has ever entered itself, and in this respect resemble that of the undergraduates at Cambridge the present year.  We trust, besides, for the coming of the day when The School shall be made worthy of its high calling and its admirable opportunities, with the best men that can be found in the country to occupy its every chair, and with new lectureships added, if necessary, so as to cover every recognized department of medicine.

      It is surely an editor's duty to help, so far as he may be able, the speedy coming of that time. p. 319-321.

      Censure by Mass Councillors of Storer and Sullivan.  List of Councillors includes DHS, but he was not present for the vote. [Had the gentleman whose name stands last upon the list joined in the vote, we should indeed have felt annoyance.  He was absent, however, at the time it was taken.  As for the rest, we have always enjoyed listening to the whistling of the wind.  (3) Resolved, That the censure passed upon Drs. Storer and Sullivan being illegal, it is therefore necessarily null and void; and that the Gynaecological Society, composed of seventeen Active Members, all of whom are Fellows of the Massachusetts Medical Society, does hereby demand for itself a trial,* [*Incidentally to the main question, and as bearing upon that of animus, all the facts in both the Ellis and the Buckingham cases will now have to be brought to light.  In regard to the former of these gentlemen, it will be borne in mind that his friends have forced the issue upon us.  Our pity might else have spared him.] being alone responsible for the Memorial presented by its delegates to the American Medical Association. p. 325.

      Dr. Amory, however, will recollect that another gentleman, Dr. F.E. Oliver, who very acceptably had acted as "Instructor" in Materia Medica to the summer class for many years, and who, so far, had certainly earned a right to the first vacancy occurring or made in this department, has been quietly passed by,--to all appearance taking the slight far more kindly than did Dr. Abbot, late Instructor in Obstetrics, whose resignation took place as soon as another person was appointed over his head to the empty professorship, [Buckingham, no doubt.] for which, it would seem, his long service at organ-grinding in the conduct of the other medical journal in this city was not a sufficient retainer,--and he will not forget that sometimes when a man has thoroughly fitted himself for a position by every expenditure of money, time, and mental labor[Horatio probably is describing himself and his law degree may well have been for the joint chair of his father.], as did both Brown-Se'quard and his pupil, Dr. Lombard, for the chair of Physiology,* [Last month we expressed our gratification at the appointment (Lusk) ...] then the powers that chance to be, wise in their own conceit, may possibly ignore him.  Those who do not recognize such golden opportunities as the ones to which we have referred, simply have, like our friends in North Grove Street, to repent at their leisure.  Much profit they undoubtedly gain thereby.  Their minds are easy, for they have had their own way; their consciences are at rest, for what have corporations with aught of the kind?--and as for pecuniary receipts, what difference makes it that the students who might have come hither now go to New York, to men so above such petty considerations as are the teachers in Harvard College? p. 327-8.

      ... With Fordyce Barker as his [Dr. White's of Buffalo] colleague, the superiority of the New York School [Bellevue Hospital Medical College] for instruction in the diseases of women, over that of this city, were there is none, is simply infinite, and students do well who act accordingly. p 331.

It [first report of state board of health] is devoted mainly to the discussion of two special questions,--the irresponsible sale of poisons, and the existence of large and unregulated slaughter-houses in the vicinage of Boston; the latter being one of the points to which we called the attention of the Board in an editorial for September, 1869 p 332-3.

      The other means [for relieving the difficulty attending the dispensing of dangerous drugs.] we would suggest to the Board is the following.  use women.

      Velpeau's Lessons ... translated by Dr. W. C. B. Fifield, of the Boston City Hospital, and an excellent surgeon.  We only regret that his name occupies an unfortunate position upon another page of the present number of this Journal. p. 336 [That censure was apparently quite a blow, and it was voted by many key individuals.]

 

Proceedings. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, December, 1870.

35th Rgular meeting, June 7, 1870.

      Dr. Storer exhibited, with the stereoscope, an admirable likeness, belonging to himself, of the late Sir James Y. Simpson. p. 338

      Dr. Storer said that there were still other indications of a very important character for the use of the hand rather than the steam atomizer.  This was the case in the disinfection of rooms or hospital wards, for which the most perfect method probably as yet devised was the atomization of a solution of carbolic acid.[Storer seemed to have Lister's methods!!  If Henry J. Bigelow knew of Storer's advocacy of antiseptic surgery, it is no wonder that Marcy's advocacy was rebuked by him!]

      Dr. Sullivan inquired as to the relative value for disinfecting purposes of carbolic acid and permanganate of potash.

      Dr. Rice thought there could be no doubt of the destructive influence of carbolic acid upon organic germs. [what are inorganic germs?]

      Dr. Field claime the same effect for permanganate of potash.

      Dr. Sullivan spoke of the stench of carbolic acid being strongly objected to by a commission of the French government, appointed to consider the subject of disinfecting ships' holds.

      Dr. Storer thought the objection an over-fastidious one in comparison with the odor of bilge-water.  Long before carbolic acid was as well known as at present, he had instituted a series of experiments upon quite an extended scale, at his farm in Milton, with reference to the comparative value of disinfectants, and had found coal tar by far the most effective.  It would be recollected, moreover that this agent but a few years ago was much lauded for the dressing of suppurating wounds.  He had lately had occasion, with Dr. Sullivan, to discuss the subject on board the U.S. Monitor "Terror," then lying at Norfolk, Va., and about sailing for the West Indies.  It was of course a matter of great interest to the officers of the ship, Capt. Ransom and Surgeon Scofield, to take every precaution possible for the health of the crews in the Gulf climate during the summer months, and the submarine quarters of an iron clad, under those circumstances, presented various problems that were new.  The air can be prevented from becoming stagnant only by a powerful fan-blower.  Dr. Storer had suggested that it would be of advantage to frequently apply both carbolic acid and permanganate of potash by atomization throughout every part of the ship. p. 341-342.

      Dr. Bixby reported the following case of EXPLORATORY ABDOMINAL SECTION.

      Miss _____, of New York, a tall fine looking blonde, [!] consulted Dr. H.R. Storer in January 1870, for a tumor of the abdomen.  She had been previously under the charge of Dr. Robeson, of Wooster, Ohio, who, though not satisfied as to the nature of the tumor, was inclined to hope that it might be a multilocular cyst of the ovary.  Desiring to give his patient every possible chance, he advised her to consult Dr. Storer.[!!] p 343.

      Jan 17th, the patient entered St. Francis' Hospital. p. 344

      The Secretary read a letter from Dr. J. B. S. Jackson, of Boston, and Honorary Member, and a member of the Medical Faculty of Harvard College, desiring to sever his connection with the Society, and was directed to obtain from Dr. Jackson the reasons for his extraordinary request. p. 356.

      The case suggested another interesting question: WHAT SHOULD CONSTITUTE AND EXPLORATORY SECTION?

      Here, an incision of two or three inches in length had thrown no ling whatever upon the character of attachments of the tumor.  It had been necessary, as in other instances that he had reported to the Society, to very materially extend the incision before an opinion could be made.

      Dr. Sullivan considered the operation that had just been reported, and this whether the patient ultimately survived or not, a fresh triumph of surgery.  Ins such a case the sufferer would by most men have been left to die unrelieved, and the tumor subsequently have been seized upon with avidity by pathologists.

      Dr. Field believed that it was indeed a triumph to present as a specimen from a living subject what has hitherto only been seen at autopsies; and thus to render such morbid growths of even more intense interest in their therapeutical than in their pathological relations. p. 363.

      Dr. Sullivan furthermore stated that in the case he had reported, Dr. Storer, sen., in consultation, had pronounced the gas to be in the intestinal cavity, as it had proved, while Dr. Calvin Ellis had been certain that it was within the intestine, and upon this supposition had ordered carminatives.

Dr. Martin commented upon the utter uselessness of carminatives in such cases. p. 367.

      The Secretary read the following, concerning the repression of criminal abortion, from a letter dated June 16, and addressed to him by one of the leading physicians of the city of Lynn:--

      "I hope the Gynaecological Society will not fail to take immediate and decided action in regard to the 'Lynn Abortionist.'  The prosecuting officers of the Commonwealth complain that public sentiment is against them in their efforts to procure the conviction of this class of criminals, and in a measure they are right, although their own timidity makes the matter seem worse than it is.  The Society has it in its power to create, or control, public sentiment by bold action in a case like this.  If it leads the van bravely in the good fight, scores will join its ranks who now stand aloof from sheer cowardice,--men whose consciences have long tormented them for their culpable inaction.  Come out in the way that may seem best to you, but come out by all means, and that at once."

      Dr. Storer reminded gentlemen that many years ago he had urged upon the Massachusetts Medical Society to cease its notorious harborage of habitual abortionists. [When?] He had been met by the allegation that to do so would be but to "stir a dunghill."  Inconsequence partly of this professional and most criminal apathy, the public sentiment had become more and more blunted, until it was given as a reason by the public prosecuting officers that a jury could not be found in Boston to convict of this crime, even in the most flagrant and indisputable cases of maternal death.  There were at the present meeting of the Society gentlemen who could testify to these facts: Dr. Whittier, who had zealously labored during the past year to bring some of these professional as well as unlicensed wretches to their deserts, and Dr. Weston a coroner in Middlesex County, and one of the members of this Society, who had lately placed evidence of the strongest character in the hands of the State constabulary, but without avail.

      Dr. Martin was satisfied that the prevalent disregard of foetal life in New England, now almost universal, had engendered a similar contempt for that of children after birth. [!]  He related a case where he had known an infant to be smothered between mattreses.  In this instance he had pressed the matter to a criminal trial, and had been greatly blamed by very respectable people for so doing.

      Dr. Storer had no doubt that the experience of every one familiar with police detail, or frequently consulted as a medical jurist, was to the same conclusion.  Such crimes were but too frequently connived at by parties of very influential position.  He related an instance in point.  At one time, it happening to be known by some of the profession that he was investigating certain points connected with the legal determination of live-birth, so called, an elderly physician of this city brought to him an infant whose neck was ligated so firmly by a cotton cord that this was nearly lost to view.  Upon questioning into its history, he was told that it came from one of the gentleman's families, the mistress of which could not bear to part with a servant who had been "unfortunate," and who had taken this method of relieving herself of the inconvenience of her living child.  As for professional shielding of criminal abortion, it was well known that this was of daily occurrence.  He understood, upon good authority, that district attorneys practically refused to prosecute abortionists.  If this were true, these officials should be impeached for neglect of duty.

      Dr. Whittier did not blame the district attorneys so much for their conduct of past cases as for those still in their hands.  He thought that officials should be entrusted with less power of selection, or rejection, of these cases.  Too many of them were thrown out where there was a sufficiency of evidence to warrant a trial.  Public opinion is undoubtedly averse to pursuing these cases, prosecuting officers and jurymen being alike liable to be in sympathy with those committing the crime.  Juries in a large city, moreover, are much more readily tampered with than in the country, and witnesses more easily made away with.  The law, he thought, was too stringent, abortion being made a State-prison offence for a term of years.

      Dr. Martin considered this punishment none too severe, the crime being second to none.

      Dr. Blake coincided in this opinion.

      Dr. Martin instanced a late practitioner in Roxbury, a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, in good standing, who for years previous to his death had devoted a large portion of his time to the procurement of abortions.

      Dr. Whittier thought he was justified in saying that district attorneys threw themselves back [?], as a reason for neglecting these cases, upon the apathy of the medical profession.

      Drs. Blake and Martin both considered such a course to be clearly a dereliction of duty, and that such attorneys, if evidence could be obtained, should be impeached.

      Dr. Whittier instanced the case of a regular physician of this city, within a very few weeks arrested for the crime, who confessed his guilt, and gave as an excuse that he had several years ago attended the woman for syphilis, and that therefore he did not do wrong in destroying her offspring.  Though this confession was made, the case had been dropped.  He would not like to say that a felony had thus been compounded.

      Dr Martin, as evidence of the appalling state of public opinion and the recklessness with which this crime is committed, alluded to the insignificance of the fee charged by abortionists.  IN the instance of the Lynn practitioner, brought to the notice of the Society at the present meeting, the heinous deed is said to have been done by him recently in this city for some five dollars!  He thought it time that the Massachusetts Medical Society should be purged of the loathsome reptiles that it still harbored.  There were scores in its ranks who were constantly committing the crime.  Dr. M. described the peculiar nonchalance with which women apply for the procurement of abortion.

      Dr. Warner thought that this was in great measure owing to the encouragement they find in obtaining what they seek from regular physicians.

      Dr. Martin was of opinion that even if the Massachusetts Medical Society should endeavor to set itself right in this respect, the Councillors, judging from past events, would fail to give that endorsement which might be needed to render the action effective.

      Dr. Storer thought otherwise.  To rid the Society of its pests did not require the alteration of any by-law, and the Councillors, therefore, in their corporate capacity had nothing to do with it.  As to a renewal of any attempts upon their part to frustrate the expressed will of the Society at large, the admission that very day of their associate, Dr. Bixby, as a Fellow of the Society, by the Censors of Suffolk District, after his previous uncourteous rejection by them, was a sufficient answer.

      Dr. Blake considered that the criminals in the Massachusetts Medical Society ought to be brought to trial, and that the Governor of the State should be memorialized to remove any delinquent officials.

      Dr. Sullivan would offer, to test the sentiment of the Society as to the best course to be pursued, the following resolutions:--

      I. That the Gynaecological Society is ready to receive such evidence as may be sufficient to convict a Fellow of the Massachusetts Medical Society of criminal abortion, and to present the case and prosecute the same before the officers of that Society, with a view to his expulsion.

      II. That the Society address the Governor of the State, by memorial, setting forth the failure of his prosecuting officers to take cognizance of this crime, and requesting that he direct them to perform the duties of their office, or supply their place, if he can legally do so, by more competent men.

      The resolutions, after many expressions of approbation, were unanimously adopted.

      The Secretary read a letter from Dr. J. B. S. Jackson, declining to give reasons for wishing to resign his honorable connection with the Society.

      Upon motion, it was therefore decided that Dr. Jackson's resignation should not be accepted. p. 369-373.

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, December, 1870, 378-400.

      The duty of Public Thanksgiving to Almighty God, at the season set apart by government for such glad service, bears with the same force upon individual men and classes of them as upon a people collectively.  It is not merely for "general prosperity, abundant harvests, exemption from pestilence, foreign war, and civil strife,"* [*A Proclamation, by Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States, for a Day (Nov. 24, 1870) of Public Thanksgiving and Praise,] that we of the medical profession should thank Him, but for all the glimpses that we are permitted of that beneficent Providence that rules alike the seasons, the tides, and the beating of our hearts, and with Whom life is but death, and death the renewal of a better life.

      To gynaecologists, each recurrent year now brings with it an ever-increasing and peculiar satisfaction.  Old prejudices are rapidly disappearing, and converted sceptics are becoming the most faithful of friends.  ...

      The praise of the mightiest host is but the grouping together of its single voices, each of them weak in itself, but strong when rendered with, and to, and for all the rest.  As editors of this Journal, therefore, we offer our meed of grateful thanksgiving to the Source of all that is earnest and true and good.  The Journal has been laughed at here in Boston, and in every way derided; copies of it with sentences underlined are at this very moment being passed from hand to hand among its professional enemies, and shown by them to their patients. [!!] Its policy has been misstated and intentionally perverted from the reality.  Ourselves have been threatened so often with personal violence, [!!] that we have learned to look for every new message of the kind with the same expectancy as does the gunner, who tells by the faint crash from the distant wall whether his shot is doing or not its work.  As for the realization of such baby-threats, men know that to lay a finger upon the hand that wields this pen, would be to invite a lash of scorpions, whose every sting would be worse than that of death.  We have never written anything really bitter, as yet, but we might, should occasion require. [!]

      We render thanksgiving that our task, thus far, has been so easy an one, and that it is now so near its end.  A thing determined upon is always much more than half completed;* [*"More than half the victory is accomplished (if) the subject is no longer ignored." Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, June 19, 1870, p.466.] and of those who were our unkindest opponents there are now some battling by our side for the Right. [Who made the switch?]  The true questions that underlie all the local issues to which we have so often referred are becoming better and better understood.  Our adversaries are assisting us in their elucidation, however unintentionally or unwillingly.  Mired in their own quicksand, their frantic endeavors to escape but show more and more plainly their treachery to us ad to the profession.  The present number of the Journal adds evidence upon this point to that we have already presented.

      Here, too, we have cause to be thankful, that some of our chess-moves, which may have seemed unnecessary, erratic, or aimless, are beginning to be recognized as having been required for self-defence, or as made in wise provision.  We are at last receiving acknowledgments and encouragement like the following.  It was written by an influential practitioner in the State of New York:--

      "I confess that I was at first annoyed by the course of the Journal regarding your local issues.  I now perceive that the strong, telling blows which you deal fall upon the common enemy, and my only fear is that the will be so completely annihilated that there will be no opportunity left for the exercise of Christian charity towards him!" p 37*-380

      appeal to go against Councillors and send delegates to AMA at San Francisco.

      An old--fox, shall we say?--seems to have been run to earth at last.  Where a skin has been so worn by the twists and turnings, the brambles and the blows of a lengthy chase, it is hardly worth the flaying.

      It will be recalled that we have once or twice referred to the course that used to characterize what was then the only medical journal in New England.  Under the management of a large proportion of its frequently changing editors, it was nominally in the interest of the profession, actually in that of a selfish little clique; it was nominally fair, honest, and fearless; actually unjust, tricky, an subservient to the will of Napoleon the Little, [which of the Bigelows? Or someone else?] who aped the magnificent autocracy of a surgeon now in his grave; [Warren?] Nominally an area of the largest freedom, but, in fact, a pile of lumber, behind which cut-trhoats might skulk.  We spoke frankly, for we had had personal experience of all these facts, and it was with no other malice than actuates a man, who, in part for the sake of his neighbors, captures and hands over to punishment a public enemy.  We but referred to what by common consent must be acknowledged to have existed. p. 384

      This report, as we stated last month, [p. 166.] while purporting to be a fair and complete resume of the doings of the councillors, omitted,--purposely, there is reason to believe,--all reference to a very material portion of the action that was taken at the Councillors' meeting.  It published to the world, as if by authority, an unjust attack by the Councillors upon the fair fame and reputation of two Fellows of the Society, and withheld a clause which even the Councillors had the manliness not to omit from their record, and which to every right-minded man carries within itself the vindication of the parties sought to be censured, namely, that it was the "opinion (of the Councillors) that the circumstance that Drs. Storer and Sullivan, in interposing (at the meeting of the American Medical Association) the objections aforesaid, professed to act, or acted as representatives of a Society called the Boston Gynaecological Society, constitutes no justification of the course pursued by them."

      Had this wickedness been the act of the Recording Secretary of the State Society, adn so of the Coulcillors, Dr. Charles W. Swan, he would undoubtedly receive a severe reprimand from the Fellows of the Society, and be dropped from his position, at the next Annual Meeting.  We are glad, however, to believe that the guilt of the procedure does not belong to Dr. Swan.

      ... We do not say that Dr. Brown himself was aware of all these facts,--his letter indeed, to Dr. Martin conveys the impression of an outside hand,--but we do say, and deliberately, that the person who "inspired" what he published is a coward; and the the Journal, as of old, is again affording harborage to a "cut-throat," whoever he may be, or however high his professional standing.

      Not satisfied with what they had done, the parties in whose sly hands Dr. Brown was, we think, but the cat's-paw, determined to increase, if possible, the damage they had attempted to inflict upon the representatives of the Gynaecological Society at Washington.  A reprint of the bogus report of the Councillors' Meeting was therefor struck off from the Journal types, upon a separate sheet, and, as though it were an official publication of the State Society, it has been sent by mail to its Fellows, and, for aught we know, scattered throughout the country.  Every copy of this document was intended to be, and is, an additional stab at those it was sought to injure.  Now, by whom was this done?  It involved, of course, considerable expense for printing and postage, and it has been done anonymously,--that device of the lowest poltroon.

      Was it by Dr. Brown, the editor of the "Medical and Surgical Journal"?  Then he has forfeited all claim to support or respect from the profession.

      Was it by, or in behalf of, the Faculty of Harvard College, smarting under their recent public disgrace?  With all the hardihood that has been displayed by their leading professor, we do not believe that even he would have ventured this.

      Was it by the Councillors of the Massachusetts Medical Society?  There is evidence in the procedure itself against this supposition.

      Was it by their "Standing Committee on Publications," consisting of Drs. G.C. Shattuck (Professor in Harvard University), B.E. Cotting, and Luther Parks (late editor of the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal"), sheltering themselves behind "instructions to publish as much," not of the proceedings of the Councillors, but of a report rendered to them upon the Laws of the State regulating the admission of members to the Society, "as might appear to them of general interest"?  Then the Committee most unwarrantably exceeded its powers.

      Or was it, after all, by that veteran wire-puller, who, forever hankering for the Presidency of the State Society, has long manipulated the Councillors as a boy would tickle trout, and who now, like a circus-rider, endeavors to bestride and control the practitioners of two separate districts? [Who?]  If so, he has driven another nail into his professional coffin, for the facts in this case may yet all appear in court.  Meanwhile since, whoever the culprit, he seems to have forgotten the event of a trial, we propose to publish, very shortly, the suppressed evidence in the case of the Massachusetts Medical Society vs. Dr. _____,[Martin? He is from Boston Highlands.] of Boston Highlands, a few years since, with affidavits, if necessary, to show who it was that was at last found to be the real forger and liar, and was saved from the condign punishment that awaited him only through promising the brother practitioner he had sought to destroy, that he would forever cease from his knavish tricks. [what was this all about?]

       We dislike, excessively, to be compelled to confront the profession, month after month, with these unpleasant, these disgusting disclosures.  Our readers, however, will recollect that a science, in this instance Gynaecology, like a man, reaches success only by persistent struggle, and if there be intentional opposition, by beating it down.  We repeat that our issues are not personal merely, but public, and so of interest to physicians everywhere.  We wash no dirty linen; if such appears, it is through the rents that have been made in our opponents' apparel.

      As for the matter to which we have now referred, it will be followed up, so long as may be necessary, by the Committee of the Gynaecological Society appointed for the purpose.  Meanwhile, slightly altering the language of Mr. Francis Bret Harte,* [*Plain Language from Truthful James, Overland Monthly, September, 1870, p.288.] we merely call attention to the facts thus far upon record in the case.

            "Which is why we remark,

                  And our language is plain,

            That for ways that are dark,

                  And for tricks that are vain,

            Drs. So-and-so are peculiar,

                  Which the same we are free to maintain."

                         -----------------------------

      Once started, it is easy to track the cloven hoof.  One might have supposed, in view of the facts we have just presented, that our brother editor, had he not been meshed by the evil one, would have seen through the wiles to which he was lending himself, and have been but too glad to present to his readers, since it concerned them all, the protest of the Gunaecological Society that we published last month.  It was a statement of the unjust action of the Councillors, and a demand from the Massachusetts Medical Society, for a trial, in due form, as provided for by the by-laws, whereby all the facts in the case would be made to appear.  This communication, addressed "to the Fellows of the Massachusetts Medical Society," was sent to Dr. Brown, properly authenticated, by order of the Gynaecological Society, with a courteously worded request for its publication, as an act of justice.

      It received a plump refusal, under the false plea that the State Society had taken action concerning the representatives of the Gynaecological Society, that by concurrence that had been made final, and that there the matter, save by appeal to the offending Councillors, must end.  To this misstatement by Dr. Brown, it was replied by the Secretary of the Gynaecological Society, that as the affair of its representatives had never been brought in any way before the Massachusetts Medical Society, it was evident that this Society could not have taken the action stated by him.  The gentleman then answered that his determination was not to be altered.  The poor Secretary could accordingly do no more.  He can only now appeal for justice to the Fellows of the Massachusetts Medical Society throughout the State, confident that, as in May last, when the time comes again for action, they will decide that "fiat justitia, ruat coelum."  Simpson's, it has long since become understood, was not the only professional life that has been struck at by a "foul blow," here in Massachusetts.[!!]

      The Councillors, it will have been perceived, have claimed that so far from being but the representatives of the State Society, they are the Society itself; and their tool, dazed by their very impudence, dares to endorse their pretence.  Let them reap a common infamy.

      The Councillors are endeavoring , as every one expected they would, to avail themselves of what we last month stigmatized as "a cowardly quibble with the word 'deserve'"  "To say men 'deserve censure' is nor more formally censuring them," they assert far and wide, "than to say that a person deserves to be hung is an execution."  Common usage, however, has decided that the expressions are not parallel.  We are informed that the trick, so far as the Councillors are concerned, is a stale one, and that in years past discipline has more than once been attempted to be inflicted by them in this cowardly manner; the expression being intended to convey, conveying, and being understood to convey, all that it implied.  The only difference is that till now no one has dared to face these wolves and drive them back howling,--more than one of them stretched at his feet, lifeless,--like so many curs.

      Next, we shall be told that sending the myriad flyleaves conveying the censure, to the physicians of the State, was no "publication."  The law may yet, perhaps, settle this question.  What one does by an agent, he does by himself.  Every Councillor who by his vote usurped the functions of the Society at large, in violation of its by-laws, has rendered it liable as well as himself, we are informed, both by that act and its publication, to a suit for heavy damages.  The aggregate of the forty-nine suits [DHS included?], doubled, for there are two gentlemen who have been injured, would amount to a pretty sum; before which, however brave the College might seem, the individual Fellows of the Society at large might well hesitate at permitting such responsibility to be foisted upon themselves.  We do not, hower(sic), anticipate being forced to any such issue.  We know pretty well the temper of the profession throughout the State, and that the men whom we lash are not its real representatives.  And we know pretty well, too, who have been the real culprits in the matter.  As in AEsop's tale, so here; there were rats from the country and rats from the town.  The former, comparatively innocent of wrongdoing, may escape through andy crevice that they may find.  But the latter, fat and glossy and pampered, form all these years' nibbling at the upper-crust, and withal "forgetful," cannot now escape us.  Dainty gloves they will yet afford, poor creatures, for the hands of the younger men. [Dainty gloves?? rat pelts??]

      We believe that the State Society will as cordially, and as fully, do justice in this matter at its next Annual Meeting, as it did last May.  We appeal to it, therefore, with confidence.

                               ----------------

      The most ludicrous point of all made by Prof. Henry J. Bigelow, when moving that the Councillors obey the vote of the Society instructing them henceforth to refuse unchallenged admission to the medical graduates of Harvard University, was that the "right" so long enjoyed had been granted "for the sake of the Society and not of the College."* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, October 27, 1870, p. 266.]  Every Fellow knows by this time that it was by the door at last closed that the greater part of the host of irregulars, who have now been disposed of, gained admission into the State Society.  The learned professor was not so explicit as the occasion demanded.  He should have added that the benefit to the Society lay in that the torpedo, so knavishly placed at its base in 1859, in the hollow dug in 1802, and deepened in 1831, in utter violation of Section 7th of the Act of 1781, and now exploded, has, while shaking the Society to its very centre, so far from destroying it, but awakened it to a quicker life.  That the compact was not for the ultimate benefit of the College, events may indeed very likely have proved.

      That the "illegal" by-law at last expunged was "left inadvertently upon the books," [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, November 10, 1870, p. 312.] and was without the knowledge of the officers of the College all these years, looks very likely, as we shall proceed to show.  Prof. B.'s assertion explains, of course, how it has been that even to the present time the Censors of Suffolk District have regularly appended to their advertisements in the College organ, the following bit of bird-lime: "Graduates of Harvard University Medical Department can join the Society without examination, on exhibition of their diplomas."* [*The italics are not our own.  See Advertising Sheet of Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, for June 10, 1869, etc., and for June 9th and 16th, 1870.]  It will be perceived that in the case of the present year, on June 9th and 16th, this language was publicly used in print, by Drs. Damon, B.J. Jeffries, Damon, and Sinclair, though the subject had already been plainly enough discussed at the Annual Meeting of 1869.  These, it will be noticed, are but fresh instances of what we have termed "forgetfulness."

      It was also Prof. Bigelow, we are unblushingly told,*[*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, November 10, 1870, p. 312.] who, in moving to strike out the obnoxious by-law at the Councillors' Meeting, coolly stated that it had already been "repealed by the State Act of 1859, and therefore was invalid and obsolescent from that time though left inadvertently upon the books."  Did the gentleman really dare to do this, in the face of his own history?

      That history is as follows.  We cite from the published Transaction of the Massachusetts Medical Society.

      At the Annual Meeting of the Councillors, on May 24th, 1859, the Recording Secretary read an attested copy of the following Act, then just passed by the Legislature of Massachusetts:*[*Medical Communications of the Massachusetts Medical Society, Vol. ix., No. v., 1859, p. 109] [why was there any such legislation?]

...

      "Section 1.  No person shall hereafter become a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, except upon examination by the Censors of said Society, and any person of good moral character, found to possess the qualifications prescribed by the rules and regulations of said Society, shall be admitted a Fellow of said Society.

      "Section 2.  This Act shall take effect from and after its passage.

      "Approved March 5th, 1859."

      Upon motion, it was voted by the Councillors to refer the Act to the Society at large for its acceptance.

      Whereupon, Prof. Henry J. Bigelow, of Boston, for the direct and evident  purpose of setting the authority of the State in this matter at naught, "offered the following amendment to the first by-law:--

"Strike out the first twelve lines, and insert the words, 'Any person having been graduated as Doctor of Medicine at Harvard University, or at the Berkshire Medical Institution,* [*The above clause was appended solely for the purpose of preventing the opposition from the western part of the State, that would else inevitably have ensued.  Form our position in the Faculty of the Berkshire School,[When did the school start?] we happen to have learned all about that bargain and sale.] shall become a fellow of the Society without further examination, by the Censors, of his medical attainments.'"*[**Medical Communications of the Massachusetts Medical Society, Vol. ix., No. v., 1859, p. 110]

      And then, as if by concert, "on motion of Dr. Metcalf, of Mendon, it was

      "Voted, 'To reconsider the vote by which the Councillors referred the recent Act of the Legislature to the Society for acceptance.'"

      "The vote was then taken on the motion to refer the recent Act to the Society for acceptance, and it was lost by a vote of twenty-eight in the affirmative and twenty-nine in the negative."  That is to say, the Councillors of the Massachusetts Medical Society, as on so many past occasions, were dragged up to the defence of one of the "rights" of the Medical School of Harvard University, and DELIBERATELY VOTED TO DISOBEY A LAW OF THE STATE.  We are merely stating facts.  They speak for themselves.

      ...

      The motion to refer [H.J. Bigelow's amendment to a committee of five] was unanimously adopted.

      "The Chair appointed Drs. J. Bigelow (Professor in Harvard University),  Gould, Jeffries, Shattuck (Professor in Harvard University), and H. J. Bigelow (Professor in Harvard University)," as the committee upon the latter gentleman's amendment!

      And then to complete the bargain with the Berkshire School, it was

      " Voted, 'That two Fellows be added to the above committee;' and

      "The Chair appointed Drs. H. H. Childs, of Pittsfield (President of the Berkshire Medical College), and J. G. Metcalf, of Mendon."  [Need info on HRS's Pittsfield appointment.  If Childs was a friend of the Harvard clique as this appointment suggests, how did HRS ever get appointed to Pittsfield?  This was 1860, Childs may not have been there 1n 1865.]

      To this point everything had gone smoothly.  The conspirators had dug their mine and laid their train; but it would not do as yet to apply the spark, for Guy Fawkes [Get info.] could not then have possibly escaped all these eleven years without discovery.

      [postponement for a year]

      The next forenoon, a handful of the Boston Councillors met together, and, as Fellows of the Society, formally sanctioned their own act of disloyalty to their representatives, to the Legislature of the State, and to the whole profession.  Here, for the present, we would gladly drop the curtain. p. 397.

      Just as these pages go to the printer, there has appeared from the University Medical Press,* [*That one of the editors of the Journal referred to is an officer of the Harvard Medical School [Who?] renders the title we have given it not inappropriate.  The late Mr. Welch, [??] of Cambridge, had not one-half as much right to the official trade-mark.] the statement that, "in answer to numerous inquiries, we (the editors) are requested to state that, at present, no one can enter the Massachusetts Medical Society without examination."*[*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, November 24, 1870, p. 351.]  Now what do these two little words, "at present," mean?  Is it that any one has forgotten, in advance, the reforms of the last few months, and has thus expressed his desire, however hopeless, for a restoration of the old regime?  Or is it that the Councillors have determined to attempt at the next Annual Meeting of the Society, a coup d'etat that will throw all their previous exploits into the shade?  Or is it that the old Committee of 1859, as yet apparently uidischarged, that was appointed by the Councillors "To look after the interests of the Society (or Harvard College) in the Legislature, authorized," as they were, "to take such measures to protect those interests as they may deem expedient," are to lobby the present winter for an Act to annul the Act of 1859?  All of these suppositions are possible; the last is by no means an improbable one.

      The fact that there is a Massachusetts Medical Society, at large, may be forgotten; but it will not be safe to forget that there is an American Medical Association. p 400.

 

Proceedings. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, January 1871, 38-64.

37th regular meeting, July 5, 1870.

      The Secretary read a letter from Dr. J.B.S. Jackson, of Boston, detailing the reasons which had influenced him in desiring to disconnect himself from the Society as one of its Honorary Members.  They were purely of a personal character, and directed against the Secretary.  It was moved by Dr. Storer that, under the circumstances, though he disapproved of such a precedent, Dr. Jackson be permitted to retire.  This motion was negatived.  Upon motin, Dr. Jackson's request was then laid upon the table, and a Committee, consisting of Drs. Martin, Lewis, and Weston, was appointed with instructions to convey to Dr. Jackson such rebuke as the reflections upon the Society contained in his communication might appear to deserve. p. 8-9.

38th regular meeting, July 19, 1870.

      [Discussion of Buckingham]

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, January 1871, 38-64.

      A year ago this day we marked the commencement of another Christian as well as secular year.  We exchanged kindly salutations with our friends; and to our enemies, none of whom we ourselves would look upon as such, we offered reconciliation.  Some of them accepted the opportunity; they were wise.  That all have not seen fit to do so, none can regret, for their sakes, more sincerely than ourselves.

      Advent, Christmas, New Year's,--they are sacred times to us all, alike as physicians, and as ever sinful men.  "Ubi tres medici, ibi duo athei," is an often repeated libel upon our profession, and there are many persons who believe it to be true.  But how can an anatomist, with God's handwriting ever before him, or a surgeon, with God's constantly repeated miracle following each stroke of his knife, or a physician, if faithful to his trust, the nearest reflection of God,--how can these ever deny their Creator, Preserver, and Guide? p. 38

      ... If at this sacred Christmas time we can, by any feeble word of ours, cause the Christ to be born in the heart of any weary or sorrowing professional brother,--if but to a single soul it is granted us to bring the glad tidings of great joy, then we shall indeed be repaid for any misinterpretation.  To have said the word in season, how good is it!  A free-thinking, restless, unbelieving man, his professional first plans thwarted[HRS], the best hopes of his life one after another disappointed,[HRS?] his every year a continual and fruitless battle with himself, the world, the flesh, and the devil,--there came to him in his mature manhood that great conviction which alone can give one rest or peace.  Many long months since then have gone by.  Long, do we say?  They would have seemed long in that unquiet past.  There are readers of ours who know, through experience, the rest and peace of which we have spoken.  There are others to whom we pray that they may come. [Is HRS admitting to a period of unbelief? And of the above "fruitless" battles?]

      But we shall at once be asked, here in Boston, have you yourselves forgiven those who have so despitefully used you[How can I identify these enemies and their transgressions?]?  Would you yourselves wreak vengeance?  We reply, that for forgiveness there must be repentance.  We cherish no malice, excepting no man.  It is abuses that we correct, not individuals. We have our work to do, not for ourselves not the Society merely, but for Gynaecology.  There are those now aiding us who were once our ill-wishers; without act of our own, save to forgive when they came penitent, they now strengthen our hands.  We would that it were so with others.  They would be cheerfully welcomed.

      And so, to all, we wish A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

                              H.R.S.  p. 39-40

      We had not imagined that Dr. Joseph H. Warren, of this city, would be supposed to have written our Editorial Notes, or that we would be likely to be thought in any way accountable for them.  We are told, however, by the gentleman that he fears lest some indefinite person, or persons, may be moved to make him our scape-goat, banish him with objurgation to a professional wilderness, and otherwise bring him to personal grief.

      Under these circumstances, we hasten to relieve Dr. Warren's mind from its anxieties, and to publicly say, supererogatory though it may be, that he has had nothing whatsoever to do with the editorial conduct of this Journal, that his attitude is one of pure and perfect negation, and that therefore it were wrong to menace or make faces at them.  We would not for the world seem t to stand in the way of his appointment to the Massachusetts General or City Hospital, the Medical College, or any other position that may conditionally have been offered to him, or to which he may modestly aspire.

      ... There was a time when we stood alone in our native city, without one man, so far as we could judge, to stand by or succor us.  And now we find ourselves surrounded by an army of friends,--for the members whom we daily meet are but the representatives of many times their number, the distant gynaecologists affiliated with the Society,--from whom we receive constant expressions of encouragement.  We appreciate, indeed, the change.  Those at a distance have little idea of the inducements that have been held out to Active Members to desert their post,[!] and the denunciations that they have received for refusing to do so.[! Correspondence of these active members may disclose some of these offers and denunciations!]  Peculiarly unpleasant is the position of those of them holding professional appointments, of whatever kind; and yet peculiarly gratifying it must be to them after all.  For, marked men as they are from their very prominence, any dishonorable means that may be taken to injure or degrade them will be sure to be seen in its true light by the profession, and to react in their own honor.

      One, Two, Three,--the editors.  But just as these do not shelter themselves behind their fellow-members, as the opponents of the Society would be glad to have them do, so in the same manner does Number Two desire that for whatever unpleasant word may occasionally have to appear in these Notes, when the mirror is being held to Nature, neither Number One, an older man than himself,--nor Number Three, a younger,--shall be spoken of with unkind epithet.[HRS is admitting that he is writing all of the criticism of MMS, cliques, Harvard, etc. as he did again in 1901 to Malcolm.]  So far, on the other hand, as concerns the agreeable and acceptable things that may be written,--and he trusts that to present such may soon be his only duty,--let full credit be given to his colleagues, for they are gentle-men.[Lewis and Bixby must have been a little upset by Horatio's patronism.]  Conjoined, we shall endeavor to make the Journal, as a scientific exposition of the specialty, a necessity to every practitioner.  Into it we have aimed to infuse a little of that missionary spirit, the old martyr-leaven, men may call it, which kindles wherever it goes, in Florida or on the upper Saskatchewan, a responsive flame of interest in, and of work for, the advance of Gynaecology. p. 41-42

                                 -------------

      It moves at last, and will soon be afloat again, quick to feel and to obey, what has so long been absent, its legitimate governing hand.  The tide has reached it, and, whether it will or no, it is being lifted from the bed that has so long held it seemingly inextricable.  Is it a worthless old hulk breaking up from sheer decay and neglect, hard ashore and abandoned to its fate?  There was too good stuff in it for that, so thought the underwriters' agents, and they aroused the sleepers on board to their only possible way of escaping destruction.

      Is it a merchantman or a man-of-war, this craft of which we are speaking?--a peaceful trading-vessel, that has taken on and discharged its cargoes, occasionally, it is true, somewhat damaged, for many long years.  In the course of time the skipper, grown bold and venturesome through very impunity, mistook his lights ndng her safety.

      What is the name fo the valuable craft in question?  The M.[edical] S.[chool] of H.[arvard] U.[niversity].  And why do we say so exultingly, "It moves, at last!" and speak so confidently of its being saved?  Let those who are interested look on for a moment, and they will see for themselves. p. 43.

      ...  Was this selection of Harvard College and of Prof. Shattuck, for work so extremely distasteful to them, intended as an act of poetic and very practical justice?  Or was it that Prof. David W. Yandell, of Louisville, by whom, as the Vice-President fo the Convention, the choice was made, being himself opposed to any change in the position of the Schools, desired to select as his drummers those most expert with the muffle?  If such were the case, he could not have made a more appropriate choice. p. 47.

            Teachers may say, as did Prof. McNaughton, of Albany, to the American Medical Association at Washington, that the outside profession cannot control the schools, and that the schools will not be dictated to.  The control, the dictation, is being exerted nevertheless.  The vote of the Association that "it has the power," and the resolutions that it passed tot he effect that Chairs of Mental Pathology and of Gynaecology would forthwith be established at all the Medical Colleges, foreshadow what is to come.

      This is the time that has reached and has seized in its saving but resistless grasp, the stranded ship we all so prize, here in Boston. p. 50-51.

                                ---------------

      Is it not so?  Let us read from the log of that ship itself.

      In April, 1870, at the time of the Convention of Medical Teachers at Washington, Harvard College still held to its determination, put upon record in 1867, not to lend its influence towards elevating the standard of medical education.  We have a right to assume this from its entire neglect, by letter or delegate, to express any sympathy with those by whom such an expression at that time would have been so highly valued.

      In November, 1870, six months afterwards, the Harvard Medical School attempts to lead the van of the most ultra reformers!  This complete somersault might seem very remarkable to those not conversant with he daily progress of events here in Boston.  It has been not more so, however, than the removal from one place to another of certain heavy buildings would have appeared to the summer's absentees, who upon their return to the city have found the undertaking, of whose inception, even, they were not aware, completed.  In both instances there has been "constant unremitting pressure"* [See this Journal for November, 1870, p. 320.] from without, no initiatiory movement at all from within.  In both, the jack-screws have seemed insignificant and wholly unfitted for such ponderous work; in both, the laborers too few for the apparently hopeless task.  An occasional lifting of one's hand, however,--no haste or impatience, but simply faith in the laws that govern both stones and men,--and the work, in both instances, has been accomplished.  It is just eighteen months today since, the trenches dug and the screws all in place, we threw off our jackets and took the levers in hand. [JGSB started, presumably.]  Already we sit at our ease and enjoy the surprise of passers-by at the result that they had considered impossible. p.51-52. [Malcolm indicated that Hotel Pelham was moved in 1872.  This discussion of movment of certain heavy buildings in Jan. 1871 suggests that the Pelham move was earlier.  ]

      The College has at last found, perforce, that, to again quote Prof. White, "As long as the science of medicine progresses you must advance with it; the moment you drop the oars, you are far back in dead water."* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Nov. 3, 1870, p.289.]  It would have taken many a weary stroke, with all the force of the most carefully selected University crew, before the lost ground could have been regained, had not the faculty taken advantage of the eddy formed for them by the much-abused Gynaecological Society and its Journal.  There's no better guardian of the public interests, no better guide for a selfish and slothful corporation, that free and fearless discussion by an independent press.  Were we wrong, when, in chronicling the tribute paid by Boston to New York in sending to that city for a teacher of Physiology to supersede Wendell Holmes, we prophesied that "another strip would soon be torn from the old rag known as the Boston Policy"? [October, 1870, p. 269.]  This has now been done.  There is very little left of the musty shreds referred to, and that little is daily viewed with more and more contempt by those marching beneath them.

      While we praise Prof. White for having spoken his own mind as an individual convert, it must not be forgotten that he is the mouthpiece of a faculty scared into improvement by the premonitions of what place-holders must dread, Revolution.  Were his sentiments, or rather their avowal, of older growth, he might become a worthy candidate for membership of the Gynaecological Society.  That, however, must be a question of the future, for as yet he might not appreciate the honor, were it conferred. p. 57-58.

      We have referred to the change of base of the Harvard School, solely to approve and not to criticize it.  We shall not, therefore, at this time, discuss the recent onslaught by the midwife of the School, Prof. Buckingham, upon the Catholic portion of our community.  It had been supposed that Prof. B. Had already done about all that could be done to ruin himself professionally; [See this Journal, May, 1870, p.307] but it seems that he was not satisfied.  Every observant Protestant physician has been struck by the comparative chastity of the Catholic Irish women, and the great value they all place upon the life of an unborn child.  The doctrines of their church are as explicit upon this point, and the duties of the confessional as rigidly observed, now as in the past.  Such being the case, listen to Prof. Buckingham, the President of the Obstetrical Society of Boston: "It was true," he said, "that he had no longer to treat the poorer class of patients to the same extent as in 1844; but he was sure that at that time it was exceedingly rare to find a Roman Catholic Irish woman who was a strumpet, or who practised intentional abortion, while at the present time neither circumstance was at all uncommon among the same class, within his own observation."* [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Dec. 1, 1870, p. 350.  Nor will we more than allude to his slur, at the same meeting to which we have referred, upon one of the most essential diagnostic and therapeutic implements of gynaecology: "The populace," he said, "seem to have the idea that Simpson's sound was designed to procure abortion."* [*the italics are his own.  A singular use of them when none who participated in the discussion at the Obstetrical Society, from the report of which we quote, seem to have previously referred to the instrument at all.  See Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Dec. 1, 1870, p. 359.]  Nor will we say what we might concerning Prof. Edward H. Clarke's public declaration in favor of that last of "woman's rights," the procurement of criminal abortion.* [*Ibid., p. 360.]  Dr. John Reynolds did well when he denounced in scathing language such an "intelligent modern reformer."* [*Ibid.]  Nor will we speak of the harsh criticisms upon the dermatological expertness of the Professor from whose Introductory Address we have been quoting, contained in two late numbers of the New York "Journal of Syphilography and Dermatology,"* [*Loc. citat., July, 1870; and October, 1870, p. 385.] save to say that when the suggestions he had been recommending to his faculty shall have been carried into effect, there can be no such thing as an inexpert professor of a special department of medical science, for "teachers such as have made the foreign schools what they are will then have been created by our own schools."* [*Boston Medical and surgical Journal, Nov. 3, 1870, p. 283.]  In view of the possible future, therefore, and of what Prof. White has now attempted to do for it, we would submit that our associate of the Gynaecological Society, Dr. Henry, the New York editor, should sent to Prof. W., or to his faculty, for that is what they once demanded in a similar instance, an humble apology for the freedom of his criticism. p. 59-60.

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, February, 1871.

39th regular meeting, August 2, 1870.

      Dr. Storer remarked that the subject was one to which he had given a good deal of thought.  That menstruation should not necessarily be put a stop to by disease, or removal, of a single ovary, was not surprising; but that it should seem to recur in the absence of both, was certainly at variance with the theory of the causation of that function hitherto generally received,--a theory that of late has received additional weight by the adoption as its motto by the Obstetrical Society of Louisville, of the words, "Propter ovaria sola est mulier," -- an expression, however, like its analogue "Propter uterum est mulier," that was not to be pushed to a degree unauthorized by the facts in the case.  He had himself now seen two cases of apparent menstruation after double ovariotomy, and one after removal, with the ovaries, of the uterus also.  p 69.

      The Secretary stated that, as directed by the Society, he had addressed a memorial to the Governor of the Commonwealth, the Hon. Wm. Claflin, setting forth the laxity of the Executive and Prosecuting officers wiht regard to the crime of abortion, and requesting that offenders should not hereafter go unscathed in cases where guilt was manifest.  He read a letter from the Governor in reply, promising co-operation with the Society, and enclosing a communication from the State Constable's Office, to the same effect.

      Dr. Martin, chairman of the Committee appointed to take into consideration the ill-judged action of Prof. J. B. S. Jackson, with reference to one of the members of the Society, read a letter about to be sent to Prof. Jackson by the Committee.  The letter was declared approved by the Society. p. 73.

40th regular meeting, August 16, 1870.  Storer absent, Sullivan temp.

      The Secretary (sullivan) read communications from Sir Walter G. Simpson, of Edinburgh, thanking the Society for its tribute to the memory of his father, and offering, for permanent preservation, as of historical interest, in the Library of the Society, the original draught of the manuscript of the "Second Letter" concerning Anaesthesia, to Dr. Jacob Bigelow, of Boston," published in the Journal of the Society for May, 1870.

      The thanks of the Society were voted for this interesting memorial.

      Dr. Martin, Chairman of the Committee, consisting of Drs. Lewis, Weston, and Himself, appointed to address Prof. J.B.S. Jackson, of this city, with reference to his late unsuccessful attempt to bring the Society into discredit, read the reply that the Committee had received from that gentleman, professing the highest respect for the members of the Society collectively, and acknowledging that his action had been wholly based upon personal feelings towards the Secretary.  Under these circumstances, the Society decided to abide by its previous decision, unfavorable to the request of Prof. Jackson to be allowed to resign his Honorary Membership.  It was voted that, while in the case of an Active Member, subject to pecuniary assessments and to the performance of stated duties, scientific and otherwise, in addition to attendance upon meetings, connection with a Society could be discontinued at the will of the individual, it was very different in the instance of those who were chosen honoris causa^.  Having no burdens to bear save of a purely voluntary character, their letters of acceptance of the compliment rendered them were to be considered in the light of a pledge to descend, as Honorary Members, to no dishonorable act.  Prof. Jackson's conduct in this mater, if endorsed, would clearly tend to bring discredit upon the Society; and beins, as he acknowledged, of a personal character, it could not therefore be allowed.  It would tend, moreover, to bring disgrace upon Prof. Jackson himself, and this the Society, in view of their mutual relations to each other, could not force itself to permit. p. 74-75.

            The Secretary read a letter, transmitted to the Society through Gov. Claflin, from the District Attorney of Suffolk County, with reference to the Society's Memorial in behalf of

A MORE FAITHFUL EXECUTION OF THE LAW CONCERNING CRIMINAL ABORTION.

      The writer, J. Wilder May, Esq., suggests "that the failure of respectable physicians to communicate with the District Attorney, and to take personal interest in the judicial investigation of cases coming under their observation, or brought to their knowledge, is not the least among the many causes which stand in the way of an efficient enforcement of the law."

      In this connection, the Secretary (Sullivan, acting) read the following letter from an officer of a County Medical Society in another State, Dr. John B. Brooke, of Reading, Pa., evidencing the aid and abetment that professional criminals sometimes receive from their fellows among medical men.* [*See a paper upon this subject by Dr. H. R. Storer, in the New York Medical Journal, September, 1866, p.422.]

      "the Berks County Medical Society, of which I am Corresponding Secretary, is engaged in a crusade against a member, who has been a notorious abortionist for years past, but whom we had never been able to obtain any tangible evidence against, until some six months ago.  It was at first hoped that the case might be brought before the Criminal Courts and summarily disposed of, but on examining the law, the attorneys employed found that the act having been committed two years previously would bar all criminal proceedings.  Our Society is now endeavoring to expel this man,--a man of some sixty-five, who has held a rather good position in this community,--but owing to the fears of prosecution in some, sympathy for an old rascal in others, and in others again the devil, we have some anxiety lest we shall fail to obtain a two-thirds vote which alone will expel a member according to the constitution of our State Society.  We have considerably more than a majority; but fear and sympathy may destroy all our labor of the past six months when the vote comes to be taken finally on the 16th inst.  Under these circumstances I have taken the liberty, unofficially, of addressing you, knowing, from your works on Criminal Abortion which I have read, how deeply interested you are in arresting this evil that is spreading so rapidly over our whole land, to ask some expression of encouragement and God-speed in our effort from you.  We have nothing to fear from our evidence,--it is overwhelming; but no obstacle, however wicked and uncalled for, has been omitted to be thrown in our way by the accused and his friends.  Threats and intimidation are their most potent weapons, and their effect is beginning to be seen upon some of our members, who, we know, were favorable to expulsion some weeks ago.  May I not, the, my dear sir, be excused from asking but a moiety of your time to aid us in ridding the organized portion of our profession of a man who is known by almost the whole community, and a large portion of the rest of our State, as a professed Criminal Abortionist?"

      The discussion which followed the reading of the above communication went to prove that in the opinion of the Society the time had come for decisive action against professional encouragement of the crime of abortion in the State of Massachusetts, as well as in Pennsylvania.

      Adjourned.

 

"The Gynaecological Society, and Its Work During 1870." The Annual Address for 1871. By Winslow Lewis, President of the Society. [read before the Society, Jan. 3, 1871]  Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, February, 1871, 84-106.

      ... I can only congratulate you upon what has been effected by yourselves, and give you a resume of your progress during the past year.

      The "Journal" has had a very decided success.  As a magazine of great practical value to all interested in the specialty of Gynaecology, its merits have been acknowledged everywhere, and very favorably noticed both here and abroad.  Its pages have been enriched by many contributions from the highest authorities in this and foreign countries.  It will be the aim of the editors to continue its primary excellence.

      The tone, the spirit, the animus, of the editorials have been somewhat caustic, and will perhaps be deemed by some to have been too personal.  This characteristic, however, was engendered, and, I may say, compelled, by circumstances too well known, and which need not, to you, be recapitulated.  It is sincerely to be hoped that our future pages may be able to be endued with an aspect more fraternal and conciliatory.  If they must still bear the impress of the "fortiter in re," we shall endeavor to have them modified and chastened by an exhibition of the "suaviter in modo."  We desire to draw to us the hearts of all of our professional brethren by courtesy and kindness.  An emollient cataplasm is more grateful and soothing than caustic applications, and this is as applicable to our moral as to our physical natures.  We shall strive to heal wounds, not open or enlarge them.  We trust that, with the close of the old and the opening of the new year, milder measures and counsels may prove sufficient in our own and in other medical organizations.  Let there be peace. "Per pacem ad lucem," has been, and will continue to be, the joint motto of your three editors.  The legend of the State of Massachusetts,"Ense petit placidma sub libertate quietem," which they have occasionally quoted, is but another mode of expressing the same idea.  Peace permanently assured, they will gladly sheath the sword.

      With these brief preliminary statements, I will ow entre into details that I believe will not prove to  you uninteresting.

      Last year I felt that I could best fulfil the duties of this presidential hour by speaking of The Demands upon every Thoughtful Physician to give Closer and More Intelligent Heed to the Diseases Peculiar to Women.*[this Journal, Feb., 1870, p. 77]  At the present time I have decided to discourse of the Work accomplished by the Gynaecological Society during the year 1870.

      Then the Society was an infant,--lusty, it is true, and full of promise, but still in its swaddling-clothes, and with prophecies upon it of death during the first dentition.  To-day, it is a full-grown man, the peer of any in the land, proud in its strength, looked up to by the oppressed, aiding zealously in all good work, and feared and hated by evil-doers.

      Two short years ago, had any one foretold, here in New England, that a Power like that now exerted by yourselves was so soon to be established, he would have been considered to have lost his mind.  You will recollect, that those of you who, like myself, assisted at the birth of the Society, as its founders, were spoken of with derision.  Those sneers soon changed to epithets of a still less agreeable character.  Fanatics, we were termed, upstarts, revolutionists.  And as for myself, in my old age lending my influence, which you were pleased so much to value (erroneously, I deem it), to an enterprise apparently so Utopian, allowing myself to be resurrected, as it almost were, to give you the opportunity of setting the present knowledge of Gynaecology, or rather its glorious future, against the dead ignorance of the past,--my friends, I doubt not, thought that I had gone clean "daft," and I only wonder that they had not petitioned the courts to adjudge that I had entered my second childhood, and appoint for me a guardian.  But the times were ripe for just what we have done together.  Success is always accepted as the criterion of wisdom.  We viewed the field, and we found it rich and fertile.  We fenced it in, and established the claim.  We invited to its toils and to its rewards fellow-laborers from far and from wide.  In common we have planted the seed; in common we have borne the burdens; and in common we have awaited the abundance of the harvest.  That harvest, in part, has already come, and tonight we are greeting each other at the Harvest-Home.  Our task has not been a wholly pleasant one.  Old prejudices and very naturally occurring jealousies have met us at every step.  It has at times almost seemed as though the very Spirit of Evil himself were conjuring them up, to preserve his dominion; but the sturdy roots have been cut or torn asunder, the stubborn rocks have been hurled from their beds, and we now have stretching before us a velvet lawn.

      You were told that the vineyard you had planted would be laid waste by fire and sword; but the event has falsified the promise.  The watchmen you placed on your borders have had to shoot a hawk or two, and now and then a weasel.  Nothing more has been seen.  What you were told was the roaring of lions proved by the yelp of coyotes, with the doleful lament, at times, of strix asio (the little screech-owl of Audubon), or rana pipiens (the bull-frog of modern authors). p 86-88.

      As I said last year of our meetings, they "have been full of interest, and their discussions profitable."  Such a wealth of material, pathological and descriptive, has been afforded us, from our immediate and our corresponding members, that it was found necessary, to relieve the Secretary's docket, that the meetings of the Society should be held throughout the summer, as well as during the winter months, without the customary vacation; and it is worthy of notice, and, I think, it is a matter great credit to the Society and to yourselves, that during the unusual heats of the past season, when the members, almost without exception, were away from the city for a portion at least of every week, and proportionally hurried when in it, there was not a meeting when there was not present the number necessary for a quorum; not a single occasion when the interest, even for the moment, seemed to flag.  Herein, gentlemen, in this persistent enthusiasm of yours, lies one secret of your great success. p.88

      It being thought advisable, inasmuch as the Society was the first of the kind ever established in the world,--differing as it does so materially from the so-called Obstetrical Societies,--to render it, as intimated by the Constitution, in reality of a national character, measures were at once instituted to secure the interest and co-operation of those residing in distant portions of the country, who had devoted themselves in greater or less degree to the study of Gynaecology.  It was soon found that an election to corresponding membership was an honor highly prized by its recipients.  In quite a number of instances, indeed, it has been directly sought by gentlemen very favorably known to the profession; and by extending its reach to foreign lands as well, a corps of most cordial well-wishers has been created, who have themselves been stimulated to the greater exertion in this honorable path to professional distinction.  Very interesting papers have been received and published from Protheroe Smith and Sir James Y. Simpson of Great Britain, Breisky of Switzerland, and Lazarewitch of Russia; one from Weber of St. Petersburg is awaiting its turn; only the day before yesterday a most interesting history of Gynaecology in Iceland has been received from our honored associate, Hjaltelin of Reykjavik, the Chief Physician of that country, under the Danish Government; and similar ones have been promised by other distinguished gentlemen. p.89-90

      That which I have thus far enumerated would have seemed, of itself, a sufficient year's work for any Society.  It constitutes, however, but a comparatively small portion of what our own has, in reality, accomplished.

      I have already remarked, that to sow the seed is not sufficient.  If it fall among rocks, or upon a desert, it may be utterly lost.  It therefore becomes necessary to prepare the soil, and, by stirring it occasionally, to secure those beneficent influences, without which all work is in vain.  It therefore seemed good to the Society to continue, during the past year, to take that interest in passing events of a local professional interest that it evinced during the first year of its history.  It has already, by vote, expressed its abhorrence of that scourge of modern civilization, the induction of criminal abortion.  It had protested against the thwarting, by interested, or too easily persuaded, physicians of this city, of the wise location of the new lunatic hospital, suggested by psychological experts.  It had put itself upon record, as alike appreciating the real objections to the encouragement of female physicians, and the vile argument in their favor, raised by an over-enthusiastic advocate.  It had advised systematic instruction in gynaecology at the medical colleges, and had addressed a memorial therefor to the American Medical Association, at its session at New Orleans.  These were all of them matters of great gynaecological interest. p. 93-94.

      It would have been well for the Councillors of the State Society, had they accepted, in a proper spirit, the unfortunate position in which, through their own ill-judged acts, and the decision of the American Medical Association, endorsed by the vote of the Society at large, they found themselves placed.  They desired, however, to shift the burden of their error from themselves, and so escape a very probable rebuke from their constituents at the next Annual Meeting of the State Society.

      Therefore, in their anger, the Councillors voted censure upon your delegates to Washington, and took measures, as it would seem, of a peculiar character to make the stigma as public a one as possible.[!]  This is a matter still fresh in your memory.  The sufferers might well console themselves with the expression of thanks you voted them, upon their return from your embassy.  But the Gynaecological Society did not stop here.  Assuming, as it had done at the outset, the whole responsibility of invoking the authority of the National Association, it has made the cause of its delegates its own, and has demanded for itself a formal trial, in accordance with the by-laws of the Massachusetts State Society.  You have appointed a Committee to see that your righteous demand is acceded to.  Should it be refused, it will then remain to you to again claim the protection of the American Medical Association.  By your course, from the very first day of your establishment, you have won the respect of the members of that organization.  Have no fear but that you will have their continued support. p. 100-101.

      And you have commenced, as I have already said, most energetically and for the first time in Massachusetts, the pursuance of a policy recommended by the Association, so long ago as 1857, for the suppression of criminal abortion.  In return for your aid thus rendered towards extending its influence and usefulness, the American Medical Association has honored your selves.  It has, by bote, entrusted you with the publication of its own Statistical History, [See this Journal, November, 1870, and January, 1871.] so valuable for reference to every one of its members, and it appointed as its representatives to the National Medical Association of the Dominion of Canada, ambassadors, as it were to a foreign court, tow of the Active Members of this Society.  Was it not for the same reason, in recognition of the great work you have already done for the profession as a whole, as well as for our especial branch of it, that your Secretary has received what I may term the crowning honor of medicine in this country[!!], the Presidency of the Association of American Medical Editors?  It was not merely a compliment that he had earned for himself by a life of professional labor, such as few men could or would endure for a single year[!], but it was paid also to yourselves.[!]

      There are many things, my associates, of which, had we the time, I would fain speak,--more especially of my connection with the Editorial Staff of your Journal, that triple combination of youth, mature manhood, and old age[Lewis, but who are youth and mature manhood?], which has elicited, I may suppose from the remarks I have heard, its full share of favorable and unfavorable criticism, from an ever-extending circle of readers.  From what I have already said to-night, you have judged somewhat of the scope of the work that remains to be done before the objects of your organization, as so distinctly set forth in your constitution, can be fully accomplished.  To explain the necessity of your several measures, to record the successive steps by which in each instance you reach your goal, to remove the obstacles that encumber and obstruct your path, and to take upon themselves any temporary weight of odium that might else be employed to intimidate you,--these are among the duties of myself and my colleagues.  You have all of you read the stirring editorials of the present month, and have been fired anew by that missionary spirit, to whom the greatest difficulties are but the veriest trifles, the lions that seem to stand in your way but pasteboard toys, over and beyond all which he[that missionary spirit?] sees your certain triumph.  I spoke a year ago of his[!] monthly comments upon men and things, as "bold, manly, fair, and candid."  So far from becoming "stale and unprofitable," as your decriers[who?] had at first predicted[where?] of them, they have grown more and more interesting and edifying.  I have good reason to believe that they have been of immense advantage in furthering the ends that the Society has so much at heart.  He has been charged with being your master-spirit; but he was the first of us to insist that, in the medical profession, all men must be free and equal.  Already we may each of us say of ourselves (saving the speaker) in true Horatian numbers, "Exegi monumentum aere perennius," urbis Bostoniensis Societatem Gynaecolgicam.

      To give you, even in abstract, a tithe of the editorials of the past year, their telling points, their individualities, their combination s for the general aim of the Society,--the grounding, acknowledgement, and advance of Gynaecology,--would of itself sever for the whole of a lengthy and well-rounded Annual Address.  It has been objected by some, outside of the Society, that the editors were compromising its members among their friends, or employing them as a shield.  To these assumptions, the disclaimer contained in the Journal for the present month (January) will prove sufficient answer.  It has been asserted by others that the personal argument (ad hominem) should not be employed by gentlemen; it certainly cannot be employed with truth, of gentlemen, and if resorted to without reason, this very fact becomes its own refutation.  If, however, there be reason for it, it becomes not only justifiable, but at times necessary.  We are told that it should be used by none save "a master's hand."* [*See Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Dec. 1, 1870, p. 366.]  Our readers can judge as to our associate's logic, his power of language, his masterly skill.[!!]  And finally, it has been said that much of your labor has been for the fostering of personal quarrels, and thus for the division of the profession into private partisans.  I need not say that I believe this charge to be as unjust as it is unkind.  That one of your staff, "Number Two," as he terms himself,* [See this Journal, January, 1871, p.42] was forced into battle is true; but it was because of his zeal as a gynaecologist.  He was expelled from the position that he held as teacher at the Medical School of this city,--a subordinate post, to be sure, but at the time the chief delight and honor of his life;[How about your family HRS?] but it was simply because he had turned upon his assailants, fellow-instructors of his at that school, their own weapons.  He was accused of gross physiological ignorance, because he asserted, as Brown-Se'quard had already done, that a certain criminal, who had been cut down from the scaffold as dead, by the officers of the law, was not at the time of his dissection "as yet a cadaver,"* [*See New York Medical Record, April 16, 1866, p. 73 and July 16, 1866, p. 244.] and he has been called a monomaniac upon the subject by those involved in this charge.  I happen, however, to have seen an affidavit, gentlemen of the Society, not as yet published, though it yet may be, written by an eye-witness of the so-called execution, sworn to before the Secretary of the Board of Overseers of Harvard College, and under the city seal. [Is this perhaps viewable today?] It bears strongly on this very important topic, and it tends to exonerate our Secretary from the aspersion that he was actuated by any but a perfectly justifiable motive in his comments upon that proceeding.

      But he requires no defender.  The might even in this world generally demonstrates the right, and his friends may fearlessly trust the final issue.

      Such being the case, gentlemen, I may well end my address, as I did that of a year ago, "Magna est veritas, et praevalebit."  It has been so with us, and it will be so with our Secretary and his work.  To it the words of Allingham's "Touchstone" are not inapplicable:--

 

"Of heir-loom jewels, prized so much,

      Were many changed to chips and clods,

      And even statues of the gods

Crumbled beneath its touch.

 

"Then angrily the people cried,

      'The loss outweighs the profit far:

      Our goods suffice us as they are:

We will not have them tried.'

 

"And since they could not so avail

      To check this unrelenting guest,

      They seized him, saying, 'Let him test

How real is our jail!'

 

"But though they slew him with the sword,

      And in a fire his Touchstone burned,

      Its doings could not be o'erturned,

Its undoings restored.

 

"And when, to stop all future harm,

      They strewed its ashes on the breeze,

      They little guessed each grain of these

Conveyed the perfect charm."  p. 102-6.

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, February 1871, 110-128.

      ...

      It is possible,--we do not like to suggest the idea,--but it is possible that, after all, this sudden leap of the school towards what it may deem a greater freedom from restraint, and towards greater power, is intended as in defiance of that controller of bodies corporate, the American Medical Association.  In the light of the past this may well be; but is any one foolish enough to imagine that the world will not see matters in their true light?  There were certain high contracting parties to a well-known bargain here in Massachusetts, [find out what this was!] not exactly in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the American Medical Association.  Detected and exposed, they have been compelled "to wheel into line with those whom thy had betrayed, and to keep step again to the music of the Union."  A quickstep it is indeed, just at present.

      To Prof. White, as an individual, great credit is due for the position in which, willing or unwilling, he has not placed his faculty. we can well forgive some things in the past[what? he turned down HRS's article for one.  He also was mentioned with Holmes, Jackson, Bigelow, Ellis, Hodges, Minot-probably part of the penance problem.], for this act and for his late resignation with Drs. George Derby and P.P. Ingalls, from the Board of Consulting Physicians to the City of Boston.* [*See the excellent letter to the Mayor and Aldermen, Health Commissioners of the City of Boston, published in the "Daily Advertiser" for December 6th, 1870.]  Their wise counsels ignored, they could only do as their predecessors of the year before, and resign; therein placing in no enviable light their colleagues, who preferred to eat the dirt and retain their paltry posts.

                               -----------------

      Having written this much, we are informed, from head-quarters, that the Annual Address of the faculty, upon which we have been commenting, is anything but an exponent of the real sentiments of that august body.  We are not easily astonished, but we confess to having thrice experienced a most delightful sense of bewilderment, first, at the bold and sensible positions assumed by Prof. White in his address; secondly, that they should have been published as the views of his faculty, in utter subversion of their previously consistent course; and thirdly, that it should now leak out, the irretractable deed having been consummated, that there has been a most grievous division in their councils after all. p. 112-113.

      Many months since, [See this Journal, May, 1870, p. 307.] we called for the publication, by Dr. Swan of this city, of the facts in his possession concerning what had already become a very notorious medico-legal case.  A knowledge of these facts had become necessary, because upon them was to be decided, in one way or the other, the character, both as practitioner and a truth-telling man, of Prof. Charles E. Buckingham, of Harvard College; and we promised should their publication place it in our power, to do all that we could to palliate or remove that person's deep disgrace. [This Journal, August, 1870, p. 112.]

      Dr. Swan's defence has at last appeared, [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, November 17, 1870, p. 326.] and we hasten to its consideration.  The charges that had been published by Dr. Buckingham himself, as having been made, were the most terrible that can attach to a physician; to be said to have caused a patient's death by ignorance and neglect, bad as it would be for an ordinary practitioner, is worse for a college professor, for from those to whom so much is given, much must be required.  They were upon every man's lip, not in this city alone, but throughout the country, [for reasons other than you HRS?]-- for Dr. Buckingham would seem to have sent his pamphlet, which initiated the whole scandal, not merely to every medical journal, but to hundreds of distant practitioners who were known to him only by name, as we have been informed by some of the gentlemen themselves.  It is unnecessary for us to state the charges in detail; they were authenticated by the affidavits of several reliable witnesses.  They could only be shaken by the testimony of one man, and that man, Dr. C.W. Swan.

      Under these circumstances, and the close personal intimacy known to exist between Drs. Swan and Buckingham, it was to have been expected taht an attempt at exculpation of the principal--we will not say, by his accessory--would at once be made.  But such did not occur, and the very delay at a time of such anxious expectancy was looked upon as of itself a bad feature in the case.  From September, 1869, till May, 1870, three-quarters of a year, Dr. Swan preserved the wretched secret.  We then demanded that his silence be broken, out of respect for the honor of the profession, if not for that of Dr. Buckingham, and just a fortnight after, on May 14th, he made the long-looked-for statement to the Obstetrical Society, of which the accused professor was at the time, as he is still, the president.  Dr. Swan's paper was read, in person, by Dr. Buckingham.

      We were at once informed of the so-called defence and we looked, with every one else, for its immediate publication in the College Journal.[!]  Months passed by, and men still waited in vain.  It began to be said that, in capital causes, defences delayed render judgment more certain, and in pity to Dr. Buckingham we again called for "the explanation that it has been understood has been read before the Boston Obstetrical Society," and fearing lest the professor might not have been allowed fair play at the hands of our contemporary, we offered "to place our pages at the disposal of parties interested."*[but no footnote--Next page: This Journal, August, 1870, p. 113.  See also Jan., 1871, p. 15[don't have page 15. Get from Vanderbilt]]  As the result, six months and a day after it was made, and fourteen months after the occurrence of the case, Dr. Swan's defence has now been published. [could be interesting B.-Swan correspondence during this period!]

      For this so fatal delay, there can be but two possible excuses,--the one, that there was o real defence of Prof. Buckingham that could be made; the other, that Dr. Swan feared list his statement of the truth might be thought, by the profession, to implicate himself in the charge of ignorance and neglect, as well as Dr. Buckingham.  Had he come out at the very first, like a straight-forward, honest man, he need have had not anxiety concerning the latter of these points.

      Does the defence now made exculpate Prof. Buckingham?  Not in the least.  Of what did the patient die, shock or post-partum hemorrhage?  Evidently the latter.  Were the remedies resorted to that, in such cases, to quote the language of the elder Dr. Storer, are "familiar to the merest tyro in the profession, and imperatively demanded"?  They are not mentioned by Dr. Swan.  Was even simple pressure over the abdomen continued after the symptoms become alarming?  It does not seem to have been.  Is there any evidence that, with these two physicians present, there were any really efficient measures taken to save the woman's life, or that tends to disprove one word of the statements of the several witnesses whose affidavits have so long been before the public?  There is none.

      Such being the case, we make no further comment.

 

Proceedings. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, March 1871.

41st regular meeting, September 6, 1870.

42nd regular meeting, September 20, 1870.

      Dr. Storer described the working of the Canadian Medical Association, whose late annual meeting at Ottawa he had attended with Dr. Sullivan, as delegates from the American Medical Association.  The bill reported for the establishment of a Medical Act, to be of force throughout the Dominion, presented many features of interest to physicians in the United States.* [See this Journal, Oct, 1870, p. 263.]

      The main features of the bill were then explained to the Society by Dr. Bayard.  He would state concerning the fact mentioned by Dr. Storer with reference to the opinion entertained of the diploma of the Harvard Medical School in Canada, that he himself, as one of the Examiners for Registration in New Brunswick, had been compelled to reject graduates of that school because of the grossest incompetency. p. 147-8.

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, March 1871, 178-192.

      Flowers upon the new-made grave, for they soothe the pangs of parting,--but afterwards men rear the solid monumental stone, in perennial memory, and to excite the ages to emulate what they may never excel.

      When Simpson died, the nations lamented him with a sincere and poignant grief.  Its bitterness has been softened by time; but, unlessened in fervor, that grief now moves the world to immortalize its benefactor by memorials as touching and beneficent as were his own gifts to mankind.

      In December last we received a note from Prof. Priestley, of King's College, London, our associate in Edinburgh, now nearly twenty years since, and co-editor with us of the works of the master we both loved, requesting in behalf of the London Branch of the "Simpson Memorial Fund," that we should assist in making what was initiated as a national tribute an universal one. p. 178.

      The above correspondence [GSB as fund-raising org. in America] was communicated to the Gynaecological Society at its meeting of Feb. 7th, and the trust was accepted with expressions of the deepest feeling.  It was felt that America loved Simpson with a peculiar affection, since he had so often and so freely exhibited an especial kindliness towards its medical men.  Partly perhaps from the fact that while still comparatively a young man himself, he had deliberately selected an American to be one of the two collaborators through whom his scattered treasures were for the first time to be brought together in an enduring form, and thus first to be generally studied, compared, and appreciated,--and that the American Edition* [*Published by J. B. Lippincott Co., of Philadelphia, 1855.] of these memoirs was as rapidly exhausted as the Scotch, [Published by Adam and Charles Black, of Edinburgh, in the same year.] with which it had simultaneously appeared,-- it is well known that physicians from this country always received the heartiest welcome and the most gratifying attentions of all who sought the Queen Street shrine; for such n his later years did his home become to the votaries of our science. p.181-182.

      And let none say that they cannot give to a memorial that is to be founded in a foreign land.  As Jerusalem to the Christian,--we speak it with reverence,--so will Edinburgh be, for all time, to every gynaecologist, and to every general practitioner, whose wife or daughter or mother, perhaps, ahs, by her sufferings, brought nearer home to him the diseases of those whom he daily treats,--the Holy City,--and the offering now to be made, a willing tribute, not to Simpson's genius alone, but to the Mercy by which it was inspired;--a gift offered not to him, but to the One with whom he is now at rest. p.183.

      ... Will it be believed that, though the Massachusetts Medical Society expelled all irregulars from its ranks last May, the Publishing Committee of the Councillors has still retained their names in the official catalogue just issued and bearing date of October last?  This is, and was evidently intended as, a renewed defiance of the Association.

      It is held by their friends that every one of these expelled persons may still, as a Fellow of the Society, be consulted with by its members with impunity! p. 186.

      Brown-Sequard, and his pupil Dr. Lombard, have returned to Boston just in time to prevent the chair of Physiology from descending again to its former deadest of levels.  In this instance the Corporation of the college will do well to recollect the Cumaean Sibyl.  What she proffered was of vital necessity; each time it was rejected, the price to be paid was increased.  Every year of some men's lives that is lost to the University, represents a rapidly compounding sum.  Which of the twain, for instance, would bring to the school each year the more pupils in Physiology, Holmes or Brown-Sequard?[!]

      It is rumored, of late pretty audibly, that a change is near at hand in another Chair.  When students understand the state of things so well that a respectable handful cannot be got to attend the lectures fo any given professor, especially if his be a course which wa formerly the one that perhaps was most thronged of all, seasonable resignation sometimes prevents a more disagreeable necessity.  It would of course be followed by the customary vote of thanks; heartfelt enough, for the relief, they would be in the present instance.[not nice HRS!]

      To recall the senior Storer, who did so much for the success of the School, and who possesses we trust strength for many years' lecturing yet, would, under all the circumstances that attended his resignation, be the most proper thing.  To do this for the Theory of Obstetrics, and to place Dr. John Reynolds at the head of the resuscitated Lying-in Hospital, as professor of Clinical Midwifery, would be for the best interests of the School.  Should it be found impossible to retrace the lost ground, by obtaining Dr. Storer, there is no physician here so well fitted as Dr. Reynolds for the teaching both of Obstetrical Theory and Practice, and besides this, his being a graduate of the literary as well as of the medical department of the University, would guarantee a twofold interest by him in his success.  By and by there will be constituted a Chair for the Diseases of Women.  There are at last many gentlemen in Boston, who would be available candidates. p. 187-188.

      ... [Dr. A.D. Sinclair's passivity] Viewed in the light of Dr. Bowditch's remarks upon a precisely analogous series of cases, we need say no more.

      Simpson used to hold, as Bowditch, that opening an abscess was preferable to permitting death or lingering disease.  Dr. Blake, of the City Hospital, whose article upon Rheumatism is one of the best contained in the "Report." showed far better knowledge of the most approved modern practice, in his paper upon Pelvic Abscess, read to the Gynaecological Society a year since,* [See this Journal, March, 1870, p. 159.] than the gentleman who is said by his friends to have kicked a dead lion.  We will not, however, credit, even from them, so unkind an assertion. [You certainly do not hesitate to spread the rumor, however.]

 

Proceedings of the Society Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, April 1871.

43rd regular meeting, October 4, 1870.

      The Secretary read a communication, entitled "Is it Right?" from Dr. J. G. Pinkham, of Lynn, Corresponding Member, upon

THE VERY FREQUENT AND INEXCUSABLE DESTRUCTION OF FOETAL LIFE, IN ITS EARLIER STAGES, BY MEDICAL MEN IN HONORABLE STANDING. [Dr. Pinkham's communication was published in the Journal of the Society for December, 1870.]

      The President, Dr. Lewis, concurred with Dr. Pinkham in considering the practice of giving drugs, or resorting to any similar measures, for inducing menstruation in married women where it was probable, or even possible, that pregnancy existed, a very reprehensible one.  It was, however, very common. [!] This fact, he need scarcely say, afforded it no palliation.  He was pained to have to acknowledge, and yet he saw no escape from this or a worse alternative, that the conscience of the profession was very obtuse upon this point.

      Dr. Wheeler thought that the complaisance of physicians, in the matter referred to, went far to account for, if it did not create, the common and very erroneous opinion, prevalent even among good and religious women, that the foetus was without life until the period of quickening, and so might be got rid of without blame.

      Dr. Weston referred to the more correct opinion concerning this point, entertained by Catholics, as compared with Protestants, and its practical result in preserving them from much uterine disease, the result of abortions.

      Dr. Warren believed that the majority of English and American women in New England, that is, of Protestants, held the opinion described by Dr. Wheeler, and that the majority of physicians in this region practically seem to consider it not improper to give abortifacients in the early months of pregnancy, shielding themselves under the possibility that impregnation might not have occurred.

      Dr. Wheeler remarked that it was strange what measures were at times resorted to.  He had lately attended a case where, the last child being seven years old, and pregnancy occurring, the woman had taken two large nutmegs, grated, with syrup.  A violent toxical effect was of course induced, more severe than he had ever seen in instances of poisoning with this drug.  Another had taken 3 ss. of oil of tansy in O ss. of gin, at one draught, narrowly escaping with her life.  Several years ago he had been called to a patient, who, having taken a similar dose, lost her life.

      Dr. Weston had seen a case of nutmeg poisoning similar to that described by Dr. Wheeler, where the drug had been taken for the same criminal purpose.

      Dr. McNab related an instance of abortion, induced by large doses of oil of cedar, the patient just escaping with her life; and another where the miserable mother employed a knitting needle, suffering from uterine disease as a consequence, to the present day.  Some years since, he had known a couple of factory women to attempt miscarriage by the use of cotton spindles from the mills.  Gentlemen might talk of the frequency of the crime in cities; there was more of this wickedness pursued in the country districts that they had any idea of, many women inducing the miscarriage upon themselves.

      Dr. Storer was glad to see the Society arousing itself with reference to this matter.  It was needless to expect to awake the public conscience till that of our own profession had been brought to a sense of personal guilt.  There were sins of omission that were as reprehensible as the direct commission of crime. p. 203-205.

      Dr. McNab went on to say, that he thought physicians were wrong in entirely ignoring the wickedness, or rather the depraved instinct, of those who came to consult them.  Some two years since, a young lady called upon him in great mental distress, because she thought herself pregnant with a litter of puppies.  She confessed to him that she had succeeded, under the mania of strong sexual excitement, in having partial intercourse with a dog.  She was so depressed at the thought of what she had done, that, threatening suicide for a time, she came down with fever and died.

      Dr. Warren was reminded by this case of one that occurred in this neighborhood several years ago, familiar undoubtedly to most of the gentlemen present, where the same unnatural kind of intercourse was very generally thought to have occurred.

      Dr. Storer remarked that idle gossip like this might easily be started by ignorant servant girls, where an illegitimate birth had occurred in the house, and a puppy ahd been employed to dispose of the milk. p. 205-6.

14th special meeting, October 8, 1870.* [*The previous Special Meetings of the Society were to listen to a lecture from DR. Lemercier, of Paris, and a course of twelve, by Dr. H. R. Storer.  Reports of the first, second, and third of these meetings have already appeared in the Journal.--Eds.]

      The Secretary requested, in view of a matter that he had to bring before the Society, that some other gentleman might be appointed to fill his place for the evening.  Dr. Martin was accordingly so appointed.

      Dr. Storer then called attention to the fact that the two members of the Society who had been directed to present to the American Medical Association, at its meeting in May, at Washington, the Memorial of the Gynaecological Society concerning the unjust discrimination made between applicants for admission to the Massachusetts Medical Society, had been cited by the Councillors of the latter to appear before a so-called Committee of Investigation; that they had attended the session of said Committee, under protest, stating the authority under which they had acted at Washington; and that nevertheless the Councillors, in violation of the by-laws of the Massachusetts Medical Society, had passed a vote of censure upon them, adding thereto the following sentence: "The circumstance that Drs. Storer and Sullivan, in interposing the objections aforesaid, professed to act, or acted, as representatives of a Society called the Boston Gynaecological Society, constitutes no justification of the course pursued by them."* [See this Journal, Nov., 1870, p. 322.]

      For himself, continued Dr. Storer, he had done but his duty towards the Society and the profession.  He was perfectly willing to leave the question of whether he had been justly or unjustly attempted to be disgraced by those who had violated the Code of Ethics of the National Association, to the good judgment of its members.

      Dr. Sullivan read extracts from a copy of the Records of the Councillors' Meeting referred to, duly authenticated by their Recording Secretary.  Dr. S. claimed that great injustice had been done to himself by the Councillors.

      Dr. Weston stated that he had been present at the meeting of the Committee of Investigation, to which Dr. Storer had alluded.  It was distinctly stated by its Chairman, Dr. Wellington, of Cambridge, that no charges had been, or would be, preferred against the representative of the Gynaecological Society as individuals.  There was a clear understanding between the parties upon this point, and there had been a gross violation of good faith committed, by the presentation of the report upon which the Councillors had acted.  That report, moreover, afforded no palliation of the fact that the Councillors, in acting at all, had usurped a power belonging to a properly constituted Board of Trial and to the Society at large.

      Dr. Sullivan referred to the refusal of the Councillors at their Annual Meeting even to listen to the formal remonstrance sent to them, concerning the matter of the admission of Fellows, by the Middlesex South District Medical Society, which, as a Councillor from that district, he had been appointed by it to present.

      Dr. Warner spoke of what occurred when the repeal of the obnoxious by-law with reference to the admission of Fellows was first moved, at the Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Medical Society, in May, 1869.  Though the propriety of such action was conceded by one of the Harvard Professors, Dr. J.B.S. Jackson, another of them, Dr. H.J. Bigelow, vehemently insisted upon its being allowed to remain, "as a right" of the College.  As the occasion alluded to had been the first time that he had been present at a meeting of the State Society, he had been surprised at such a public exhibition of ill temper, and still more so, when the President, Dr. Putnam, after openly listening to the interested whisperers at his ear, endeavored, by most unparliamentary means, to table the motion.  In spite of these efforts, however, the proposed alteration of the by-law had gone to the Councillors, in accordance with the usual course, and they had refused to take any action upon it.  There was no possible procedure left but an appeal to the American Medical Association, and in making such an appeal the Gynaecological Society had but done its duty.  It was an impertinence in the Councillors to undertake to shift upon individuals the responsibility of its collective action, and a dastardly act to attempt to censure them.

      Dr. Storer presented a copy of the Memorial, signed, on behalf of the Gynaecological Society, by its President and Secretary, and presented to the American Medical Association, at Washington, It is as follows:--

To the American Medical Association:

                                          Boston, 19 April, 1870

      Respectfully represents the Gynaecological Society of Boston, an Association duly organized, and in affiliation with your own, by the formal incorporation of your Code of Ethics into its Constitution, that a great and flagrant injustice is committed towards worthy members of the profession by another Medical Association, subject to your cognizance; to wit: the Massachusetts Medical Society, so called; in that, compelling every physician resident within the State to make application for its membership, under penalty otherwise of being considered and treated as irregular, it exercises an invidious and oppressive discrimination between the applicants, admitting the graduates of one Medical School to full membership, without other formality than the presentation of their diploma, while it subjects the graduates of all other Medical Colleges whatever, to a rigid, and--in view of the exemption referred to,--ignominious examination.

      And wherein that the said Massachusetts Medical Society has, by the course described, acted in contravention of that Section of your Code of Ethics which defines the duties for the support of professional character.

      And wherein that the said Massachusetts Medical Society, by a recent vote of its Councillors, sheltereth itself behind an old ad unwarrantable compact with Harvard College, still in force, in discriminative favor of the graduates of said College as against those of every other Medical School in the country, and upon remonstrance, refuseth to amend its ways.

      And wherein that the said Massachusetts Medical Society has long and notoriously broken that other of your rules which by Article IV., Section I., of the Code L prescribes the Duties of Physicians to each other, and to the Profession at large, in that it permits irregular physicians, publicly advertising themselves as such, to remain in full and acknowledged fellowship, the Gynaecological Society would respectfully represent that it is incumbent upon your honorable body to take such action in the premises as shall mete to those collectively transgressing your Code, the same impartial justice as would be dealt to individual men, and to withhold from the said Massachusetts Medical Society and its component District Societies, the right of representation at your sessions until it has purged itself of its present gross contempt.

                              For the Society,

                                    WINSLOW LEWIS, President

                                    HORATIO R. STORER, Secretary.

 

      The Memorial, he continued, was, in due course, presented to the Association in open session, and was referred to the Committee upon Ethics, consisting of Drs. Alfred Stille, of Pa., J.M. Keller, of Ky., N. S. Davis of Ill., H. F. Askey, of Del., and J. J. Woodward, of the U.S. Army.

      Meanwhile, and in accordance with the usual custom in such cases, a protest had been filed against the admission of delegates from the Massachusetts Medical Society, until the case had been adjudged.  After the memorial of the Gynaecological Society had been referred to the Committee on Ethics, there arrived in Washington, Professor Field, of Dartmouth College, who presented the following protest to the Association, in open session; it also was referred to the Committee upon Ethics.

                  Washington, 3d May, 1870.

      "Gentlemen:--I regret that I have been detained upon the way from the North, and so have been prevented from presenting to you, at the proper season, the formal protest in behalf of Dartmouth College, against the admission of the delegates form the Medical Society of Massachusetts.

      "Permit me now, however, to do so, and to say, that in admitting the graduates of Harvard College to fellowship, without the examination demanded of the graduates of the school with which I have the honor to be connected, and of those represented by two of your own number (Drs. Stille, of Philadelphia, and Davis, of Chicago), an insult has been given, for which satisfaction has in vain been sought at home, and which I now demand through you of the Association.

                  "Very respectfully,

                        "H. M. Field,

                  "Prof., etc., in Dartmouth College."

      That there might be no doubt as to Professor Field's protest receiving due consideration at the hands of the Committee, the representatives of the Gynaecological Society, in exercise of the discretionary power conferred upon them at home, submitted to the Committee, through its Chairman, an explanatory note.  It is as follows:--

 

                                          Washington, 3 May, 1870.[not on JGSB version-4 May given at bottom.]

To the Committee upon Ethics of the American Medical Association:

      GENTLEMEN:-The undersigned, having reason to believe that your Committee have labored under a mistaken impression with regard to the grounds upon which the protest has been entered by the Gynaecological Society of Boston, against representation at your session by the Massachusetts Medical Society, would respectfully call your attention to the following facts:

      I.    That he protest says nothing about Fellows of the Massachusetts Medical Society consulting with irregular practitioners; therefore it is not necessary that charges should ave been preferred against such parties--this being entirely a separate matter, capable of being disposed of at home, and with it your decision has nothing to do.

      II.   That charges in writing have been made against the irregular practitioners themselves, and the M.M. Society has failed to take honorable action in the premises--and that, in accordance with this fact, which cannot be disposed of at home, your Committee are bound to afford the desired relief.

      III.  That a member of the profession from a distant State, a graduate of Dartmouth College, stands distrained of his rights as a physician in honorable standing, by rejection by the Censors of the Society, after unfair and invidious examination, while his own hospital steward was admitted over his head to fellowship, without being asked a single question, upon the mere presentation of the Harvard Diploma,--a violation of your Code with which the Society has been formally charged, which it has refused to right, and which therefore it is incumbent upon you to act upon.

      IV.   That a Stature of the Society permits and sanctions this outrage in violation of your Code; that the Society has been called upon to rescind it, and that it refuses to do so.  This charge, also, you cannot ignore.

      That there may be no mistake in this matter, these charges are now distinctly and emphatically repeated.

      You will perceive that they are upon two separate points, each of which should be decided upon by itself, and which must not be confounded; namely, the unjust fostering of Harvard College, and the prolonged tolerance of irregular practitioners, in despite of every effort which the By-Laws of the Society will permit, to oust them.

      You will also perceive that the first of these charges it the one that affects more particularly the honor of the whole profession, and must not therefore, be winked out of sight, while the latter is of comparatively trifling and local importance--and you are reminded that to permit such conduct in high places without rebuke, or to pass over charges such as these, which have been proved true to you beyond possible denial, is to yourselves strike a blow at the very heart of the Association.

      The undersigned would not imply that it is possible that any member of your Committee, no matter what College he may represent, can be actuated in his decision by the fear of incurring the displeasure of a powerful rival, or by timid subserviency to a let-alone policy, or by a still baser desire to compromise in this question of right and justice; but they would nevertheless remind you that o admit the Massachusetts delegates the present year, would be considered, and would be, an endorsement by you, of what in individuals would be unhesitatingly condemned.

      Moreover, a collateral protest from Dartmouth College has arrived since the case was closed by you, to receive which, it is respectfully suggested, it is incumbent upon you, alike as impartial judges and honorable gentlemen.

      If, as it is now represented, your Report has already been sent to the President of the Association, it is certainly in your power to request its return until you shall have been enabled to render it, if not already so, in full accordance with the facts in the case, even if you have to delay until the case of the Washington Societies has been settled.

                  All of which is respectfully submitted.

                                    HORATIO R. STORER.

                                    JOHN L. SULLIVAN.

"Washington, May 4, 1870,"

      The verdict of the Committee on Ethics, accepted and adopted by the Association, was familiar to all.  With reference to the first count, it reported that, "Although strongly disapproving of the course pursued by Harvard University," it felt that the exposure that had been made would prove sufficient to correct that abuse; and that, with regard to the second count, the charge of tolerating irregular practitioners having been fully proved, and being plainly in violation of the Code of Ethics, the Massachusetts Medical Society ought not be admitted to further representation until it should have put itself again into accordance with the Code.  Under certain alleged extenuating circumstances, the delegates from the Massachusetts Medical Society then in Washington were permitted to register themselves, with the understanding that no others would be received till the Society had put itself right upon the record. [ were late arrivals not received?]

      Upon their return to Massachusetts, a portion of the delegates from the State Society, but not all, united in a complaint against the representatives of the Gynaecological Society at Washington, as individuals.

      This complaint was not rendered to the Massachusetts Medical Society, as it should have been, but to the Councillors; who thereupon, in utter disregard of the by-laws, appointed a Committee, who virtually tried and condemned, as individuals, the aforesaid representatives; recommending them to censure by the Councillors, who were nothing loth, illegally as before, to carry out the suggestion.  To make the action of the Councillors more offensive, and their animus more evident, a garbled copy of their vote was printed, as though it were official, in the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal,"* [*Loc. citat., Oct. 27, 1870, p. 266.] [Get this] and a reprint of this sent by mail all over the country, for the purpose of injuring the professional reputation of those who had upheld the honor of the Association.

      This cowardly method of warfare Dr. Storer would also leave for the judgment of fair-minded men.

      Dr. Warner stated that he believed the case had been impartially stated.  He for one was not willing to stand quietly by and see such iniquitous proceedings of those of the Councillors tamely submitted to.  Nowhere save in Boston would the profession have tolerated, so long as it had done, such a yoke upon their necks.

      Dr. Martin was of the same opinion. He would therefore offer resolutions that, as the Gynaecological Society was alone responsible for the action of its representatives, Drs. Storer and Sullivan, at Washington, it only could be dealt with in the matter; that the Councillors of the Massachusetts Medical Society grossly exceeded their province in attempting to wield an authority belonging only to their constituents; and that the Gynaecological Society demand for itself a trial, as provided for by the laws of the State Society.* [*See this Journal, November, 1870, p. 324.]

      The resolutions were seconded by Dr. Warner, and unanimously passed.

      Adjourned. p. 207-217.

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, April, 1871, 240-256.

      It is a source of real pleasure to us, that the Councillors of the Massachusetts Medical Society, who signed their own death-warrant when they voted to disobey the order of the American Medical Association, intend to die game.  Despite allegations to the contrary from within their lines, we have all along contended that we were dealing, not with men of straw, but with wily, dangerous, and perfectly unscrupulous antagonists, now rendered desperate the certainty of losing the power they have abused these many years. [DHS is a Councillor!]  There is a delight in facing such adversaries, and forcing them back, successfully dislodged, from post to post, akin to beating a jungle for tigers.* [*We prefer, as above, to look at our dealings with the Councillors in a light the most favorable to them, though aware that our friend, the editor of the St. Louis Medical and Surgical Journal, has compared our exposure of them to an attempt to cleanse a worse than Augean Stable. (Loc. citat., March 10, 1871, p. 169.)]  Once get then into the open ground, and they try to scamper away like so many hares. p. 240-241.

      ... Flings like these at the delegated, and at the Association, come, we are told, with especial ill -grace from the distinguished public advertiser n the "Atlantic Monthly," who once visited California as the medical attendant upon the eyes of a nine-days' wonder excursion train.  Neither the delegates, nor the Association, are to be caught with any such chaff. p. 243-244.

      As straws caught from the rick show the way of the wind, so do the Introductory Addresses of collegiate weather-clerks indicate that of professional opinion.  To make headway against an adverse gale may require the shrewdest manoeuvres, short tacks and frequent.  There's more than one sort of "trick at the helm."

      Some little time ago we compared the Medical School of this city and its new policy, as foreshadowed in the Address by Prof. White, to a vessel getting afloat again after lying high and dry upon the shore.* [*This Journal, Jan., 1871, page 42.]  The comparison is still an apt one.  Witness that pocket-handkerchief, "R. Van W.," neatly stamped on the corner, just raised for a sail by its most ancient mariner but one.  So far as it goes, it will do nicely, and requires withal no giant to handle it.  But then, this one is more at home with skulls than with sheets. [?? find out what this is all about.]

      Invited to the Bellevue Commencement, to tell the students there how fortunate for them it was that Dr. Lusk could not be kept at Harvard, Prof. Oliver Holmes took occasion to address to the young gentlemen that strongest of all arguments, a personal confession.  He was describing the sources of professional success.  "I warn you," he said, "against ambitious aspirations outside your profession.  Were you in the spasm of an ode, would you be likely to be called to a teething infant, or to an ancient person afflicted with lumbago?  The community very soon find out whether you are in earnest, or a mere diploma-dilettante."* [*Philadelphia Medical and Surgical Reporter, March 18, 1871, p. 236.]

      Sad, though so true, are such words from such a source.  Had we first used them of their author, how unkind it would have seemed of us!

      And so of the school itself.  Prof. White's acknowledgment that while writing odes and trashy nonsense,--for what else than this has been its selfish provincialism, its deification of the local professional celebrities of Boston, and its worship of their glittering soap-bubbles that burst into thin air before they have floated outside our streets,--the college is far behind what it should have become, and indeed, what the profession had a right to expect of it, has a painful sound.  It is an admission, like that of his colleague, that means one of two things,--"We must improve against our will, because you insist upon it;" or, "We see that you intend to demand air of us.  Be good enough, therefore, to forbear a little, and we will pretend to initiate the advance ourselves."

      We are willing to waive this point, since their advance has been begun.  As we had intended, the spark has become a flame, and it has spread beyond the power of the Faculty to quench it, even should they desire to do so.  At the last meeting of the Overseers of Harvard University, held on March 8, 1871, President Eliot presented a vote of the Corporation repealing the following clause in the statutes of the Medical School: "To secure the recommendation to a degree, the candidates must pass a satisfactory examination in at least five of the nine departments, and have presented a satisfactory dissertation."

      Now what does this action of the corporation of the University really mean?

      To lower the standard for graduation, as some have been short-sighted enough to infer?  We predict, on the contrary, that it is the first step towards that thorough overhauling of the Medical School, the necessity of which we have taken occasion in these pages to suggest to the Head of the University.  He has brought order our of nearly as complete chaos in the other departments.  He has skill enough, and we believe will enough too, in his desire to make his rule a consistent one, to bring the little Boston Monarchy to a realizing sense that their notion of independence is one thing, and the fact thereof quite another. p. 251-252.

      As plaudits attend a victor, so in advance we are receiving congratulations for every side for the exposures we have made of the trickery which has so long ruled the profession in Boston,-- a task, however, which we have just begun.  Extracts from one of two of these letters we have published.  Here is another, from Washington,--its author one of the conservative leaders of the National Association: ... p. 252 -3.

      It was last year voted by the American Medical Association that all scientific papers "must be sent to the Secretary of the appropriate Section, at least one month before the meeting which is to act upon them."  The following is a list of the Sections, as officered for the present year:--

      Chemistry and Meteria Medica. ...

      Practical Medicine and Obstetrics.-- Chairman, Dr. Horatio R. Storer, of Boston, Mass.; Secretary, Dr. J. K. Bartlett, of Milwaukee, Wis.

      Surgery and Anatomy. --Chairman, Dr. J. L. Atlee, of Lancaster, Pa.; Secretary, Dr. Horace Carpenter, of Salem, Oregon.

      Meteorology, Medical Topography, and Epidemics.--Chairman, Dr. N. S. Davis, of Chicago, Ill.; Secretary, Dr. C.C. Hildreth, of Zanesville, Ohio.

      Medical Jurisprudence, Physiology, and Hygiene.--Chairman, Dr. Theophilus Parvin, of Indianapolis, Ind.; Secretary, Dr. J.A. Murphy, of Cincinnati, Ohio.

      Psychology.--Dr. J.H. Griscom, of New York; Secretary, Dr. O. F. Remick, of Wellington, Mo.   Gibbons, Henry Editor of Pacific Medical and Surgical Journal.

      Editors, publishers, and printers are all in one boat.  They work for a common end, and so should be kindly spoken of by each other.  Even were not this the case, we should feel inclined to call the attention of our subscribers who may have occasional printing to do,--as who has not,--or aspiring sons to instruct, and we hope that but few lack these also,--to the convenient little press, the patent of which is held by Mr. B. O. Woods, of this city.  We have one of them in our own home, and can cordially endorse all that has been said of it, even Mr. James T. Fields' remark in the "Atlantic Advertiser and Miscellany," that while the pen is mightier than the sword, the "Novelty press" is mightier than the mitrailleuse.*[Loc. citat., February, 1871, p. 4.]

 

Proceedings of the Society Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, May 1871.

44th regular meeting, October 18, 1870.

      He [Dr. Storer] would, in this connection, say a word concerning what was rapidly becoming A QUESTION OF MALPRACTICE.

      There were as grave faults of omission as of commission.  He referred to the fact that there were still physicians, of a good deal of influence, who denied that ovariotomy should ever be performed.  He frequently saw very promising cases, where physicians, previously in attendance, had prophesied "instant death" should an operation be made.  He more than onece had had such condemned patients submit themselves to his hands, and recover.  it habe become time for the profession to understand the truth of the matter.  WIth an average recovery nowadays of probably three out of every four cases of ovariotomy outside of hospitals, taking cases as they run, without selection, it would be just as well for hospital surgeons and general practitioners to condemn amputations and other severe operations, whose necessity none but the most ignorant could question. Gentlemen would remember that it was in this city that Mr. Spencer Wells received what he considered the grossest insult of his life, being told to his face, at a Society meeting (the "Medical Improvement"), in the presence of many members of the profession, by a prominent hospital surgeon, who had happened to have lost al his own ovarian cases, that to perform ovariotomy or not was a mere matter of taste; and this in the face of many repeated series of eight cases out of ten, saved by the operation, when, otherwise, all would have died.

      Dr. Martin remarked that none but the veriest sycophants would have sat quietly by, as was done at the Society meeting referred to, and permitted so grave an affront to their distinguished guest. p. 259-260.

      Dr. Martin added that it did not discourage men of ordinary sense.  His remarks were as true of midwifery, as of any other department.  He recollected one very amusing instance.  It was a case to which, many years ago, he had called Professor Walter Channing in consultation.  This gentleman brought with him a bag containing at least one hundred pounds' weight of old iron, consisting of forceps of almost every conceivable pattern, while a single ordinary pair, such as did not happen to be in the bag, would have been better than them all. p 262-3.

45th regular meeting, November 1, 1870.  H.O. Marcy of Cambridgeport invited.

      Dr. Martin had called attention to the ventilating bandages, more particularly with reference to their application in a case now under his care, it being one of GREAT HYPERTROPHY OF BOTH MAMMAE.

      The condition was identical with that so sell described by Velpeau, the breasts being perfectly symmetrical, and so far, aside from their disproportionate magnitude, models of beauty.  Each of them was as large as his head, and they occasioned the patient great inconvenience from their weight.  She was now six months pregnant.  The mammary enlargement had bee even and regular, dating form the removal of a uterine polypus, the size of a Bartlett pear, some three years since.  He was having a double sling made of the perforated rubber, to be buckled over the back. p 271-2.

      The Secretary stated that in accordance with the instructions of the Society he had sent to the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal," for publication, the resolutions of the Society passed at the Special Meeting held on October 8th, 1870, relative to the censure of its representatives at Washington by the Councillors of the Massachusetts Medical Society; but that the Editor, Dr. Francis H. Brown, had refused to present them, although he had published in his Journal the misrepresentation referred to.  Dr. Storer also pointed out the circumstance that, in that publication, a very material portion of the vote of the Councillors had been omitted, -- namely, all that referring to the fact that it was in accordance with instructions from the Gynaecological Society that its representatives had acted.

      Whereupon, it was moved by Dr. Martin, seconded by Dr. Weston, and voted, that a committee of one be appointed by the President to take charge of all matters growing out of the mission of Drs. Storer and Sullivan to Washington on behalf of the Society.

      The President appointed Dr. Martin as said committee. p. 291-2.

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, May, 1871, 313-320.

      Secession upon the part of Massachusetts from any truly national organization would once have seemed an impossibility.  But thus the world goes round in strange alternation of light and shadow, history constantly repeating itself, and the old Bay State interchanging places in the most wonderful of ways with South Carolina.  The Southern blood leaped into disloyalty that it might preserve its people from further political association with castes they though inferior to themselves.  That of Massachusetts, so far as the profession is concerned a turbid stream, is flogged by the Councillors' whip into just heat enough to deny the authority of the National Association, and to refuse the help that body had extended towards the needed self-purification.

      The late Annual Meeting of the Suffolk District Medical Society of Massachusetts will go down to the future as an historical occasion.  The Metropolitan District, it is the head-quarters of the aristocratic, selfish, imperious, mutual-admiration clique, which for more than half a century has uninterruptedly ruled the State.  Here, in this city, are held the annual meetings of the State Society, and still more those "adjournments of annual meetings," at which scarcely a country member is ever present.  Here are convened the Councillors, those giants of straw,--Og, Gog, and Megog, of whom men are now bending and snapping to pieces with such infinite gusto.  Here, at certain well-known dinner-tables, gentlemen form the rural districts are flattered, and then easily cozened and manipulated.  And here it is,--where else in the world could such effrontery be tolerated?--that the man who of all others in America has systematically encouraged the worst irregularities in practice, whose writings far and wide are quoted as orthodox by the worst enemies to the regular profession, the tone of whose whole public life has been a sneer at the science he professed to teach, and who leaps at the slightest opportunity of wounding his associates and colleagues, no matter how bitterly, if he can only relieve himself of some little pun long and carefully prepared beforehand,--it is here he sits at his ease, and with a make-believe serious air, so very, very childlike and bland, pens for a New York audience, what he would hardly say to those who have kept his record at home:--

      "The great majority of the profession are peacefully inclined.  Their pursuits are eminently humanizing, and they look with disgust on the personalities which intrude themselves into the placid domain of an art whose province it is to heal and not to wound."* [*O. W. Holmes, Valedictory Address to the Students of the Bellevue College; N. Y. Medical Journal, April 1871, p. 439.  Dr. H. forgets that he himself stated on a previous page (p. 422), "Nous avons change' tout cela."]

      This is the familiar cry of individuals and of corporations, recognized or not as such, who are coming to grief,--"Let us alone."  It was this sort of peace that South Carolina desired, and did not obtain.  An equally futile requiest it will be found by the choir of coaxers, from whom we not so sweetly have it.  College, and Councillors, and District Society,--the last, so faintly,--all are attuned to the single chant, "Let us alone."  Dr. Oliver truly said that they are "looking with disgust" upon a continuance of the righteous discipline which has only just begun, and as for himself, how elegantly the professor quotes from his friend, Mr. Brownell:--

                        "All I axes is, let me alone."*

[*Address, etc., p. 402.]

      The following is the official document that is serving for our present text:--

                                    "Boston, April 5, 1871.

      "Dear Sir,--At the Annual Meeting of the Suffolk District Medical Society, held at their rooms, Wednesday, April 5th, 1871, it was voted by thirty-eight ayes to thirty-seven nays, 'not to send delegates to the American Medical Association the present year.'

      "Respectfully,

            "D.H. Hayden, Secretary.

"H.R. Storer, M.D."

      And thus it is, that by one single vote the profession in Boston have been made to place themselves outside the pale of recognition by their brethren throughout the country.  Sharp and hot was the discussion, specious and false the arguments, or rather the excuses, of the Councillors; white the feathers and pliant the knees of many who, in their hearts, were cursing their own pusillanimity and lamenting that they did not dare to avail themselves of the fresh opportunity to break, once and for all, the chains of their bondage.  That act, however, they have only a little while deferred.

      Meanwhile, the Right has not lost, but gained.  A well-contested defeat is often very much better than an easy victory.  The party of the past have learned, as never before, that the party of the future are already nearly, if not quite, their match.  The timorous and those on the fence are already preparing to cross their Rubicon; those already over pronounce it but a dry and shallow ditch after all.

      But what shall we say of those old "masters" of ours, whom we have chosen to remind of their true relation?  Let men judge for themselves.  A bluff, hearty man, who, like Dr. Charles Homans, confesses that the Councilllors, instead of "advising," as Dr. Ayer would have made those at last holding the rod believe, in reality "directed" the district societies to refrain from appointing delegates to California, by his very manliness commands our respect.  We can hardly say this of the would-be Calhoun,--how vast the gulf between!--who claimed that "Massachusetts should no more allow herself to be governed by the American Medical Association than by the Medical Society of the pettiest State, Rhode Island for instance."  "If she chooses," continued the Councillor, "to violate the Code of Ethics, and to tolerate irregular practitioners as Fellows of the State Medical Society, she will not allow herself to be disciplined therefor."  The faint applause that followed, must have been music to this one's soul, suggesting as it must have done, the scorn and derision that will be meted to him by every American physician who has the best interests of the profession at heart.  Is it inquired who this recreant it?  Ask Dr. Henry W. Williams, President of the American Ophthalmological Association, and one of the four Boston physicians who tried to kill the American Medical Association in 1865. [who were the other three?  Henry J. Bigelow--"ringleader of the malcontents"]  I he refuse to answer, then ask us. p. 315-316.

      Nearly eighteen months since, we spoke of what was being quietly done by the Franciscan (Catholic) Sisters towards affording hospital relief for poor persons afflicted with uterine disease, here in Boston.  St. Elizabeth's Hospital, at 28 Hanson Street in this city, and St Francis', on Spring Hill, Somerville, have together a comfortable capacity of fifty beds, and they have been largely resorted to by invalids, not from this immediate neighborhood alone, but from all parts of New England, and even from more distant localities.  The unsurpassable situation of St. Francis', as regards all sanitary advantages, has especially fitted it for the safe conduct of surgical cases, and many are the women who have thanked Heaven for giving them the gentle Sisters in their hour of sorest need.

      At the time of the establishment of the Franciscans in Boston, several years since, they entrusted the whole of their hospital supervision to one of the editors of this Journal, themselves by hard labor supporting the establishment, ad of course deserving all the credit.  During the past two years, Dr. Storer has found it impossible to give all the attention to the hospitals that they required, and at the same time properly attend to his private practice.  For this reason, and in the belief that it was only right to relinquish to others the opportunities for study that he had so long enjoyed, he requested the Sisters to relieve him of these responsibilities, by organizing for the hospitals a regular staff.  This was done in November, 1869, Drs. Warner, Bixby, and Sharp being joined to the attendance.  Early in the present year it was found necessary to still increase the number of medical attendants, and the staff now stands as follows:

St elizabeth's  Attending Physicians and Surgeons:

L.F. Warner, Hotel Pelham; G. H. Bixby, 64 Boylston Street; S.L. Dutton, 89 Harrison Avenue; J.G. Blake, 95 Harrison Avenue; B.F. Campbell, 115 Meridian Street, East Boston; M.F. Gavin, 11 Broadway, South Boston.

St Francis'  Attending Physicians and Surgeons:

Doctors E. H. Weston, East Cambridge;  W. W.  Dow, Somerville.

      Consulting physicians to both hospitals.

      Doctors D. H. Storer, 182 Boylston Street; W. G. Wheeler, Chelsea.

      Consulting surgeons.

Doctors Winslow Lewis, 2 Boylston Place; H.R. Storer, Hotel Pelham.

      All of the above attendants, with but two exceptions, will be recognized as Active Members of the Gynaecological Society.  The twin hospitals are slowly, but surely winning their way to the confidence of the community, and many of the bitterest disbelievers in gynaecology a year ago, among Boston physicians, have by personal visit and inspection been convinced that there was far more of philosophy and sound sense in this department than general practitioners have usually dreamed of.  We commend St. Elizabeth's and St. Francis' to physicians with stubborn uterine cases.  Applications for admission can be made to either of the medical officers, or to the Sister Superior.[HRS's future wife!!]

 

Proceedings of the Society Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, May 1871.

46th regular meeting, November 15, 1870.

      Dr. Storer had for many years been struck by the comparative rarity of syphilitic disease among the population of New England, and this, although from its great extent of seaboard, it offered a thousand inlets for the importation of the disease by sailors and immigrants.

      Dr. Warren inquired whether it were true, as was now being alleged by them, that the Councillors of the Massachusetts Medical Society had, by the wording of their late attack upon the Society through its representatives, Drs. Storer and Sullivan, in reality escaped the charge of having passed a vote of censure.  He did not wish to seem afraid to meet any question fairly in which the honor of the Society was involved, and he asked merely that he might understand the exact position of affairs.

      Dr. Martin, from the Committee appointed with reference to the matter, explained that, not merely had the Councillors by their vote implied a censure, but they had inflicted it.  They had used similar language on farmer occasions, for a similar purpose, and had never till now shown a desire to eat their own words.  The truth was, that they were finding that they had gone too far, and were endeavoring, in this underhanded way, to retrace their steps.  There could be no doubt whatsoever concerning the facts in the case.

      Dr. Warren rejoined that he was satisfied that the case was as stated by Dr. Martin.  Under the circumstances, the Society had no other alternative than to expose the improper course pursued by the Councillors.  As the fact became known, the Society would be sure of the support of the profession. p. 333-4.

47th regular meeting, December 6, 1870.

      Dr. Storer recalled to the remembrance of the members that it was to Dr. Warner that the profession were indebted for the suggestion of extending rupture of the anal sphincter to the diagnosis of uterine absence. p. 340.

      Dr. Storer believed that the immunity from danger described by Dr. Ramsey, during the employment of chloroform for obstetric cases, not only existed, but that it could be accounted for.  He had endeavored to do this in 1853, [1863?]* [*The Employment of Anaesthetics in CHildbirth. Boston, A. Williams & CO.] although at the time it had not been attempted even by Simpson. [!! later apology to Edinburgh/Simpson when he included this in later paper.] p. 342.

      Dr. Storer remarked that instances of gynaecological blundering and malpractice, like those described by Dr. Hunter, were far from uncommon.  He had been consulted in a great many cases where the nitrate of silver, chromic acid, etc., had been carelessly employed, with the effect of producing more or less complete effacement of the cervix by bridles of lymph, and obliteration of the vagina.  In these cases the uterus was often rendered immovable, often fixed in a very unnatural position, and extended dissection was required to restore the parts to their normal condition.  The improvement, when effected, was at times very difficult to retain, from the tendency to a renewed growth of the cicatricial tissue. p. 344.

      Dr. Storer considered that one point alluded to by Dr. Whittemore was of very great importance, namely,

THE LIABILITY OF PHYSICIANS TO A FALSE CHARGE OF ABORTION.

Called on, as they often were, to cases where measures to induce criminal abortion had already been taken, honest attendants were sometimes themselves held responsible for the offence.  He had known of more than one instance where reputations had thus been endangered or attempted to be destroyed.

      Dr. Warren had no doubt that this was often the case.  He would inquire, in this connection, how likely the passage of the uterine sound in the earlier months would be to produce abortion.

      Dr. Storer said that no practitioner of any discretion would ever pass the sound upon a woman whom he had reason to believe to be pregnant.  There were cases, however, fortunately few, in which a cervical epistaxis occurred for a few months after impregnation, analogous in some respects to the false menstruation that occasionally occurs after the ovaries have been removed;* and there were others, far more frequent in number, where women intentionally deceived their attendant, in the hopes of thus procuring a miscarriage without apparent blame to themselves.  He had had several instances of the kind communicated to him by medical friends.  In neither instance, however, would it be urged by any reasonable man that such mishap would be an argument against the use of the sound for proper purposes.  There were many, indeed, for which even the most ignorant gynaecologists would acknowledge it to  be indispensable.

      Dr. Blake believed this to be true.  The sound should not be blamed because of its use by careless or incompetent practitioners, or those who had been willfully deceived by their patients.

      Such being the case, continued Dr. Storer, he had been sorry to see that it had been stated at a late meeting of the Obstetrical Society of this city, by its President, Dr. Buckingham, that "the populace seem to have the idea that Simpson's sound was designed to produce abortion."* [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, December 1st, 1870, p. 359.]  The use of the italics by Dr. B. in the sentence just quoted, conveyed a curious insinuation, to come form the only exponent of gynaecological science as yet recognized by the only medical college now existing in Massachusetts; inasmuch as not previous reference whatever to the uterine sound seems to have been made at the discussion referred to.  The statements would appear to be of the character of another immediately following it, that Dr. B. found it "not at all uncommon to find a Roman Catholic Irish woman who was a strumpet, or who practised intentional abortion."  Every member, he thought, of the Gynaecological Society must have noticed directly the reverse.  He himself, as a Protestant, had always been forced to acknowledge that the Catholic confessional secured a very much greater comparative proportion of chastity and complete gestations in their women.  Especially was this the case with the Irish.

      Dr. Lewis, the President of the Society, had observed this fact, all his life, to be true.

      Dr. Storer had, moreover, been disgusted by the defense of criminal abortion that had been made on the occasion just referred to, by no less a person than the Professor of Materia Medica in Harvard University, Dr. Edward H. Clarke.  "Such views and conduct," said Dr. C., speaking of married women who desired, as the expression goes, "to regulate the size of their families," he considered to be praiseworthy,"* [Ibid, p. 350.]  And again, "The endeavor to regulate the birth of children, with the object of producing the most perfect offspring, is as commendable in the case of man as in that of the lower animals." [ibid.]  "Other gentlemen," the report goes on to say, "concurred in the views" of Dr. Clarke. [Ibid.]  He could only say, for himself, that such an expression of such an opinion could but be productive of an immense amount of moral and physical harm  It might be thought that, as gynaecologists, they should rejoice at such views, for their general adoption would be sure to bring to them a golden harvest, from the increase of uterine disease; but, upon the other hand, as gynaecologists, to whom it were always a higher duty to prevent disease than to cure it, they must regret that such terrible doctrine should be broached from so high a place.  Dr. John P. Reynolds had denounced it, like a high-minded, honorable, and Christian physician, upon the spot, and had put the mark of Cain upon this "intelligent modern reformer."* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Dec. 1st, 1870, p. 350.  See also this Journal, January, 1871, p. 58.]

      Dr. Warner bore witness to the noble stand taken by Dr. Reynolds at the Obstetrical Society's meeting.  His remarks, as reported, were so appropriate to the occasion, and breathed throughout such a spirit of devout appreciation of the sanctity of human life, that they deserved to be printed in every newspaper of the land.  His course in the matter had merited the gratitude of every member of the medical profession.  He would therefore move the thanks of the Society to Dr. Reynolds, and he hoped that his example might be very generally followed.

      The motion was seconded by Dr. Wheeler, and it was passed unanimously.

      The President, Dr. Lewis, considered the matter just under discussion, one of the most important ever brought before the Society.  The action it had just taken was extremely creditable to the members, although they had only done their duty.  It was a great delight to him to preside over gentlemen who perceived these important issues so clearly, and were not afraid to cast their great influence into the scale for the Right.

      The Secretary read the following letters from Dr. John B. Brooke, of Reading, Pa., Corresponding Secretary of the late Berks County Medical Society of that State.  They were supplementary to one communicated to the Society at a previous meeting, relative to the best means of dissociating form the Berks County Society a noted abortionist.

      Under date of August 25th, 1870, Dr. Brooke wrote to the Secretary:*-- [*See Boston Medical and Surgical Journal. 1870.[??]]

      "Permit me to return you my warm thanks for the prompt and appropriate note you sent me in reply to mine.  I hoped it might assist us in fighting the battle of right against wrong; but I was disappointed.  The enemy was too strong for us; so that, although the committee--into whose hands the censors had committed the case, to hear the evidence full--declared the man guilty unanimously, yet, when I moved to expel him, the majority decided against me, and he was permitted, most ignominiously for our Society, to resign.  In my address,--for I had been appointed to recite the law points,--I read your note, and quoted you extensively in connection with other good men who have frowned upon this abominable practice.  Bit it was all of no avail; for so bitter was the opposition, that thy used every argument, whether right or wrong, just or unjust, to defeat us, and finally would up their damnable orgy by voting that a man who was found guilty of sustaining and openly practising homeopathy 'should be treated with masterly inactivity.'

      ...  To resign would have left the organization still complete.  So, biding our time, we determined to disband, which we have accomplished most successfully, as you will see by the enclosed minutes.

      "We ;have thus set the Anti-Abortion ball in motion in Pennsylvania, and if we can only have a little of your spirit infused into us, I doubt whether it will cease to roll until it has passed over the whole State.

      "A new organization, called the Berks County Medical Association, has resulted form the dissolution of the Old."* [Minutes.. in this Journal, for February, 1871]

      Dr. Warren moved, it was seconded, and the resolution was passed, that the thanks of the Society be voted to Dr. H. R. Storer, for having so long labored, at first against every conceivable obstacle, for the exposure and suppression of criminal abortion.

      Dr. Storer thought it far more fitting that thanks should be given to Dr. Brooke of Pennsylvania, and his associates of the new Berks County Medical Association, for the example they had set for us here at home.  The time might come--it was perhaps not far distant--when the Massachusetts Medical Society, in default of other remedy for notorious abuses that it now tolerated, might have to be reorganized, by disbandment and a surrender of its ancient charter.  Phoenix-like, it would then arise from its ashes to a far more glorious future.

      Adjourned.

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, June, 1871, 375-383+.

      Very interesting in connection with the whole question of the tolerance of profound shock by human life, in its relation to various gynaecological matters,--as the length of time during which aid may reasonably be possible after apparent death from hemorrhage, ether, anaesthesia, and the like,--and its bearing on a certain now world-known medico-legal case that once occurred here in Boston,--will be found the following letter:--

                  "Bloomfield, Stoddard Co., Mo., March 29, 1871.

"Dr. Horatio R. Storer:--

      "Sir,--In compliance with your request I send you the case of Skaggs, attested by the required evidence.

      "J.H. Skaggs, hanged at Bloomfield, Stoddard Col, Mo., August 26th, 1870, was thirty-five years old, of sanguine temperament, five feet ten inches in height, and weighed one hundred and sixty pound.  Prior to execution, his health was good.  The execution was public, and witnessed by more than twenty-five hundred persons.

      "At twelve minutes after one o'clock P.M. the platform dropped, and the convict fell a distance of more than six feet.  The noose was adjusted to the usual place, but at the drop the rope slipped behind the mastoid process.  In three minutes all struggling ceased.  At the end of four minutes, on examination, I found a distinct fremitus passing over the region of the radial artery, which entirely ceased at the expiration of six and one half minutes.  At the end of four minutes more all signs of life had disappeared and the body was blue.  I then pronounced him dead, in which opinion Dr.J.F. McDonald coincided.  The body was allowed to hang four minutes longer; in all fourteen and one half minutes since the fall.  I then suggested its removal, which was at once done. ... [man lived till 4 the next morning] p. 375-378.

      At the present moment we simply place the above case upon record, reserving certain comments, that we have to make, for another occasion.  We may state, however, in reference to the question that was asked in the "New York Medical Gazette,"* [*Loc. citat. February 11, 1871, p. 145.] how it was that Dr. Jackson, a regular physician, could have first reported the case in an irregular journal, that the gentleman has now sufficiently explained his course, and that by the remarks appended to his report he has very plainly defined his professional position.

      The "Gazette" goes on to say, truly enough, that "it is, of course, sufficiently evident that the supposed corpse in this instance was simply a patient laboring under asphyxia; but the case is interesting as affording another illustration of how long animation may be suspended without destroying the possibility of resuscitation.  It also illustrates a proposition tolerably familiar to medical men, namely, that the penalty of hanging, as usually inflicted, means not sudden death, but comparatively slow torture by strangulation; and, furthermore, it is probably that in many instances death does not really occur; that is, the possibility of reanimation remains until some time after the execution.  There can be little doubt that the fall usually adopted in executions is utterly inadequate to cause immediate death.

      Upon one important point, our brother editor, Dr. Carroll, is in error, as were certain parties here in Boston in the other case to which we have referred.  "The sentence of the law is," he says, "that a man be hanged by the neck till he is dead, and if he were proved not to be dead, it would clearly be the sheriff's duty to hang him over again."  It would be his duty to do so if the rope had broken before he had been legally pronounced dead, or if signs of life become manifest previous to the performance of this official act.

      In Skaggs' case, the sheriff failed to observe this formality, and retained his hold upon the prisoner.  In that of Magee, upon the contrary, a living man was formally pronounced dead by a jury of physicians selected by the sheriff to decide this point, and, as a dead man, he was given up for an autopsy.  The requirements of the law had all been complied with, and it legally released its hold upon the prisoner.  Had McGee been resuscitated, as there is evidence that he might have been, he would have been, in law, whether as a man newly born or not, entitled to his life, and free to repent perhaps of his sins, and become a sober member of society.

      In law, whoso takes a life, unofficially, is responsible therefor.  it is a physician's first and only duty, whether it be a still-born foetus, a submerged person, or one otherwise asphyxiated, that is under his hands, to save and not to destroy.

      Several years ago, in 1864, we suggested to the American Medical Association, that a Board of Consulting Physicians ought to be attached to every insane asylum, to be called upon for advice at the discretion of the Medical Superintendent;* [*Transactions of the American Medical Association, Vol. XV., p. 125.] and this, we showed, was of especial importance, with reference to a proper understanding and rational treatment of insane women.  The resolution to recommend the appointment of such a board was unanimously adopted by the association, but, for various reasons, it has not as yet been generally carried into effect.

      So great a progress, has, however, been made in the agitation of this matter, so many conversions have taken place of asylum superintendents from the views then so extensively entertained by them, that the present seems an appropriate time for again directing the attention of the profession to the subject.  The files of this journal bear witness to the frequency and curability of mental diseases in women, and to the intense scientific interest of the questions involved; while the simultaneous publication of the monograph upon reflex insanity by Prof. Mayer, of Berlin,* [*See this Journal, May, 1870, p. 290; August, 1870, p. 93; April, 1871, p. 217.] and the reprint* [Reflex Insanity in Women.  By Dr. H.R. Storer. Boston, Lee & Shepard.] of our own report upon its causation, course, and treatment, rendered to the American Medical Association in 1865,* [*Transactions of the American Medical Association, Vol. XVI., p. 123.] are awaking psychiatrists and political economists (for of perfectly calculable value is an effective worker restored to society) to practical issues till now lost sight of.

      Few persons are probably aware of the extent of the public provision already made for the seclusion of the insane from their homes for treatment.  There are, in reality, no less than-sixty four large hospitals of the kind in active operation in the United States.  Through the kindness of Dr. Edward Jarvis, of the Dorchester district of this city, we have been furnished and , now print a complete list of the same as existing at the present date.  So far as we are aware, nothing of the kind has been published since Dr. Earle's list in 1863.  It will be interesting not merely on that account, and as showing the comparative care exercised by the several States with regard to this class of unfortunate patients, but because it also affords evidence as to the professional strength of the specialty.

      It is for the great mass of practitioners to decide whether, as stated, at the last annual meeting of the Association of Superintendents, by Dr. Atlee, of Philadelphia, himself in accord with those gentlemen, from being upon the board of management of one of their asylums, it is well for them to keep themselves aloof, almost exclusively so, from connection, by asylum (not collective) representation, with the American Medical Association.  Their mouth-piece, the "American Journal of Insanity," is well conducted, but has, we have reason to believe, a comparatively limited circulation among the general profession; their annual meetings are largely attended, and ar of great interest, but they are not open to those outside the specialty.

      It was in the hope of rendering a mutual support and obtaining a mutual gain, that the National Association, several years since, established its Section of Psychology; more especially for the purpose of bringing superintendents within the fold.  But they, from a not unnatural class-feeling, still prefer to keep by themselves; and not merely this, but to hold their annual meeting at another time and place, and thus deprive the general profession of the opportunity at once of learning from their wisdom, and applauding their cures.

      The list, to which we have referred, is as follows:-

HOSPITALS FOR THE INSANE IN THE UNITED STATES. 1871.

Massachusetts

      Somerville                    John E. Tyler

      Worcester                     Merrick Bemis

      Taunton                       William W. Godding.

      Northampton                   Pliny Earle

      Boston                        Clement A. Walker

      Tewksbury Receptacle          J.D. Nichols

 

                                  THE ADDRESS

DELIVERED AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ASSOCIATION OF MEDICAL EDITORS, ON MAY 1, 1871, AT SAN FRANCISCO, BY HORATIO ROBINSON STORER, M.D., EDITOR OF THE JOURNAL OF THE GyNAECOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF BOSTON, AND PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION.

 

THE MUTUAL RELATIONS OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION, ITS PRESS, AND THE COMMUNITY.

Published in JGSB June 1871

      The Medical Profession in this country consists of what?  To this questions a multiplicity of answers present themselves; all of them true to a certain extent, and yet all of them, save one, very degrading to the term's highest idea.  Were every physician what he should be,--a thoroughly honest, straightforward man, anxious only for his patients' welfare, laboring for the development of his science, and not alone for gain, liberalized by education, humanized in the highest sense by a constant entering into the sufferings he is compelled to meet, and, above and beyond all else, spiritualized by the recognition that his every success is but a vouchsafement of God's great mercy, and he but its humble instrument,--what a different art were medicine, what a different place the world!

      Of the seventy thousand ...  ... if the title is permitted, as in many sections of the country, to dispensing druggists, and still again to that doubtful sex wearing the habiliments of womanhood, but assuming the work and the prerogatives, while it[!] seeks the to escape the legal responsibilities, of man.  Advisers and conservators of their race, physicians would possess wisdom of the highest character.  Too often they but ape the philosopher's bearing, and become, however paradoxical the term, but grave buffoons.  Such clownishness is a disgrace to our calling; yet who does not recognize it within the circle of his own personal acquaintance?  Not simple pharmacists should we be, mere potterers in the crudest technicalities of chemistry, ever besalving, drenching, or otherwise torturing the poor creatures whose sorest needs are our best harvest; but counsellors, guardians, directors,--whose every aim it is to ward off disease, to keep death at bay, and to prolong to its utmost the brief span we all so dread the ending of.[! HRS is 41.]

      As a graduate in law as well as in medicine, from the twin schools of that dear old University whose foundation goeth back to the time when jurisprudence and the art of healing, those best transplantations of civilization, first were landed on the Atlantic coast, I yet yield for them the palm to that nobler vocation, by whose teachings and ministrations, through God's grace, our yokes here are lightened, and hereafter our best hopes ensured.  "Christo et Ecclesiae."  To these did John Harvard dedicate his worthy gift, whose ever-recurring power manifests itself in the skill, the intelligence,and the professional reputation of so large a proportion of American medical practitioners.  Do I say that the lawyer and the physician should yield precedence to the priest?  Can any one of us who has personally looked within the vail, losing wife or child, or himself sick nigh unto death, do otherwise? p. 2-3

      It must not be forgotten, however, that there is nearly as much danger of underrating actual goodness and purity, as of extolling imperfection.  Eyes as of a microscope are upon us all, ever quick to detect the slightest flaw.  Malfeasance in orality is an easier charge to make against a physician than malpractice in art.  For every uttered breath of scandal, ten thousand suspicions exist unspoken,--for mortals are prone to judge each other from what they themselves might do in similar opportunity, and they catch exultingly the faintest whispers of the wind.  What gynaecologist is there, for instance, who does not daily pass between walls of fire, liable as he constantly is to be misunderstood, misrepresented, by the distempered imaginations his sad duty it is to seek to heal? [were most of HRS's female patients with distempered imaginations?] p 4

      ... Who of you will not admit that a really learned physician, in the highest sense, is as rare as, by differentiation, the only possible method, a perfectly correct abdominal diagnosis,--which, I am sometimes inclined to say, has never yet been made.

                                      II.

      Such being the truth, what of ourselves,--to a certain extent representative members fo the profess,--of of the power which we wield, its press?  As individuals, we may be very far from the standard our responsibilities demand,--many of us undoubtedly are,--but, in the aggregate, there's a mightiness in this editorial function, that makes of one's chair well-nigh the throne of Jove.  Woe to the evil-doers upon whom its bolts chance to descend!

      As there are many classes of so-called physicians, with but one real and honest distinctive type, -- so this expression "Medical Press" may mislead, unless now more strictly defined.  Many of you are authors of no mean repute; you have published, out of the stores of your own experience, manuals or text-books in the several departments of medicine, or have laid your contributions, in the form of original memoirs or monographs, upon the lap of our science.  Others, of whom the number was formerly far greater, have descended to a lower plane, and, as translators or copyists, have revamped the work of foreigners into our English tongue,--doing it too often, I grieve to say, as veritable pirates, without the slightest concert with the authors themselves, thus bringing the whole editorial profession into grave disrepute.  [Luther Parks, perhaps?  How many in the audience were uncomfortable!] p. 6

      ... I hold, with every one of you, that we are to work for themass of the profession, and not for ourselves or the interest of any little clique or faction;[a la BMSJ?] that the broader the subjects we treat, and our views upon them, the more satisfaction we shall give and the greater the good we shall do; that we should abstain from personalities and everything like aggression, unless we are pricking a public wrong or abuse, and some knave or dolt comes out of his way to impalement upon our needle.  We should take the lead in every matter of social science, and, by stimulating, thus educate the community to a wiser self-protection.  We should, however difficult the task, combine towards compelling those with whom the duty may lie, towards a higher standard of medical education, and thus avert somewhat of the cloud of charlatanry that now overshadows the land.  We should be quick to seize upon, and to turn to good, here at home, the suggestions that, mail after mail, are brought to us from foreign co-laborers with ourselves.

      But, I may be asked, is it possible for us to withstand, to any appreciable extent, the flood of empiricism [probably irregularity in practice] that is now everywhere threatening to beat down and cover all the old landmarks?  Unless we have faith that it is possible, we are unworthy to be here in California at the present moment, surrounded, as we are upon every side, by monuments to success under what seemed insurmountable difficulties; to courage that saw, in thing begun, the same already accomplished.

      That there exist in all communities representatives of every form of irregularity in practice, what our Canadian neighbors call medical "sects;" that the present extreme tendency to popularize, upon the part of our prominent professional writers, may bring dignity and permanence of standing into jeopardy; that the running rito of men's and women's minds in their discussions of questions of social science, whether within or without special associations provided therefor, goes far to confuse anew many a matter already none too plain,--these are certainly discouragements.  But what of that?  Were everything plain sailing, were there no dangers to avert, and no obstacles to overcome, of what possible purpose would be our Association?  Of what use indeed, our journals at all? p. 11.

      In our union, as in all others, there lies the chief secret of strength.  There may be instances, within our circle, of men of pre-eminent energy, and of such magnetic force or power or persuasion, that every frost of indifference and brazen wall of opposition melts down before them.[Was HRS thinking of himself? Who?]  Such, however, are few.  Accept them if you choose, and they are otherwise worthy the trust, as leaders; but still do not neglect that closing in of the ranks, and that hand-touch together, without which you become an easy prey to every foe, and can never reach to any really great accomplishment for the general good. p. 12

      ... Let even so august a person as its presiding officer under take to force upon the profession any Utopian views of his own, whether they regard the acknowledgment of female physicians, for instance, or any other pet heresy[!], and it were better he had never accepted the chair, whose attainment constitutes the most laudable ambition of every physician in the country.[!!]  It requires a steady hand, a calm pulse, and a cool brain, so to fulfill the duties of the presidency of the American Medical Association as to give satisfaction to, and receive efficient support from, the little group of ability-gaugers, who comprise this Editorial Association. p. 12-13

      ... In the letters which I have received from every one of your number, you have urged me, almost without exception, to declare as the decided voice of the Editorial Association, that the standard of medical education in this country must be raised.  Let it be once understood by the colleges that you are in earnest, and what you have determined upon will soon be accomplished.  I hope, I may say I believe, that Massachusetts, long so laggard, will now be found to be foremost in this matter, and that the representative man who, in the fire of youth, brings a greater wisdom than that of age, will prove, in his practical test of The New Education to which I have alluded, that he has obtained the whip hand of the medical, as of the other departments of the University, whose destinies he has been called to direct. p. 13

      I have exhorted you to be kindly affectioned one to another, and towards all mankind.  But at the same time I warn you, would you preserve your influence, that of this Association, and your own self-respect, never to palliate wrong, never to afford shelter to the evildoer.  To do so seems often the easiest course, -- it indeed may be for the time,--while to act uprightly may involve temporary misconception, remonstrance, or blame.

      As an instance in point, and as having had some personal experience myself of the chance of being misunderstood, to which I have just alluded, let me again refer to one of the topics that I have mentioned as not unlikely to come before the general Association at its session during the present week.  It is the extraordinary conflict of jurisdiction that has arisen tin the State to which I belong, and the question whether or not the American Medical Association and its Code are in reality to be the controlling power.  The discussion of these topics by the Journal of the Gynaecological Society [did he drop Boston on purpose, aiming to make it national?] has been the means of bringing to its editors' table an ocean of communications, in commendation, of inquiry, and in fierce denunciation, from physicians in every part of the country.  It has also been the means, I doubt not, through your kind favor, of placing one of those editors, at the present moment, in this honorable chair. p. 14

pages 15 and 16 give the history of the Mass. Med Society-Storer/Gyn Society conflict.

page 16 appeals for a memorial for Simpson'p. 17 describes Toner's list of 50,000 physicians and his index of the contents of the medical journals.  Also discusses "the courtesy of Prof. Joseph Henry, of Washington the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, I have secured to each of your number every facility for the most extended interchange; [receiving foreign journals and sending our own journals abroad]

      In conclusion, I have to report that while at the time of our last year's meeting but thirteen of the forty-two medical journals then in the country had become members of this Association, there now belong to it thirty-eight, or all but three of the whole number at present existing, both in the United States and in Canada.  Though our constitution speaks of the Association as confined to our own territory, its title is that of "American"; in accordance with which, and in the belief--in view of the cordial reception extended to myself the past year at Ottawa, as delegater from the American to the Canadian Medical Association, and the conviction then renewedly impressed upon me that science knows no imaginary dividing line,--I[!] ventured in your behalf to extend an invitation to our colleagues across the border to join the Association.  As the result, Dr. John Fulton, of Toronto, Editor of the "Canada Lancet," and Drs. George E. Fenwick and Francis W. Campbell, of Montreal, Editors of the "Canada Medical Journal," these being the only two professional periodicals in British America, have joined our body, formally signing its articles.  I congratulate you, both in view of the present and the future, upon this important accession to your ranks; and I have no doubt that you will always look upon our Canadian associates as alike friends and brethren.

      But three American journals, [out of 41] as I have said, have not entered our organization, and of these but two have declined to do so. ...  But a single journal in the whole country--I say it with pride--has flatly refused to associate itself with its contemporaries; and this, as a Boston man I say it with shame, the "Medical and Surgical Journal" of my own city, the plea of its editor, Dr. Francis H. Brown, being that "he does not think it advisable, at present, at least, to bind himself by the rules which such an organization might see fit to impose upon him"! p. 18

      Gentlemen: you had my hearty thanks for the honor you conferred, far beyond my every poor merit, when electing me to this most honorable post.  I now repeat them, for the courtesy extended to me upon the present occasion.  In your behalf, also, I would express the gratitude of the Association to our California brethren for their kind welcome and most liberal hospitality. p.20

      May we return to our homes form this land of enterprise, rapid growth, and largeness of heart, educated, even by so short a sojourn, to a greater breadth of view, a more self-sacrificing zeal, and higher purposes, than a single one of us has ever known before.  Our union will then have been cemented strongly enough to resist any and every force of demoralization, whether from without or within; and the profession, recognizing at last the power of our fraternity, will frankly confess, as has so long been done by the community at large, that the Press, well organized and wisely conducted, in reality rules the world.

 

 

"The Mutual Relations of the Medical Profession, Its Press, and the Community." Presidential Address at Annual Meeting of the Association of Editors of American Medical Journals.  Delivered at San Francisco, May 1, 1871.  Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, June, 1871.  Toner, p.13.

 

Proceedings. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, July, 1871.

48th Regular Meeting; Nov. 15, 1870.

      ... So far as concerned the causation of PERMANENT ORGANIC LESIONS FROM LOCAL THREATMENT, these were usually dependent upon gross carelessness or ignorance.  There was a class of heroic general practitioners who used caustics, even the most powerful, to the cervix uteri and the vaginal wall, without apparently the slightest care or precaution.  There was a physician in this city, whose patients were constantly falling into his hands, with more or less complete obliteration of the vagina, from the careless employment of nitrate of silver.  There was another whom he had repeatedly found to be equally unfortunately with nitrate of silver, and there were several who had unwittingly thrown a great deal of money into his hands [!] by their constant and indiscriminate use of vaginal pessaries, which were so apt to cause parametritis.  The same remarks would apply to want of care during the progress of labor or an abortion, through which the cervix uteri became fissured or distorted, and to its unnecessary mangling by surgical procedures in cases of displacement attended by sterility or dysmenorrhoea.  Dr. Storer illustrated his remarks by sketches upon the gynaecological blackboard. p. 10-11.

      Dr. Storer reminded gentlemen that they were again wandering from the question whether that "inevitable, complete and safe anaesthetic," as described by Prof. Henry J. Bigelow, sulphuric ether, ever kills.

      Dr. Blake asked where reports of ether-death were to be found.

      Dr. Martin replied that there had been enough of them here at home, if gentlemen would only report them.

      Dr. Blake inquired why they were not reported, if such were the case.  Dr. Martin replied that it was from fear of the local sentiment in favor of ether.  Whoever dared to breathe a word of distrust of that agent became at once a marked man.  That the local sentiment was now, however, rapidly changing was evidenced by the quickness with which the publication of ether-deaths by Burnham and Davis had followed his own.  p. 16.

49th Regular Meeting; Jan. 3, 1871.

      ... at the house of Dr. Winslow Lewis, No. 2 Boylston Place.

      ... The Secretary being confined at home by sickness, Dr. Bixby was appointed Secretary pro-tem.

      Taking advantage of the Secretary's absence, Dr. Bixby then proceeded as follows:-

      "Mr. President: The proceedings of this meeting have been already intensely interesting, and I was about to say, in themselves, complete.  I trust, however, that the few words I may now say will not detract therefrom.  We have listened to your eloquent Address, in which the work of the Society for the past year has been so clearly exhibited, and though so familiar with it all, I could hardly believe my ears as I listened to the recital of the long list of interesting topics which have been the subject of our deliberations during the short space of a twelvemonth.

      "I ought to be a matter of great gratification to the members of the Society, that all their transactions, from the very earliest beginning, have been so carefully, faithfully, and classically kept, and to-day occupy, through the Journal of this Society, an honorable place in the medical archives of all nations.  For accuracy and completeness of these records, notwithstanding that they have always been written from memory, and often from press of other duties, at a space of at least a week or ten days subsequent to the meeting, we are every one of us able to testify, that phonography itself could do no more, if, indeed, in presenting the exact ideas developed before the Society, it could do as much.  For this incalculable service, sir, the Society, the medical world, and humanity are indebted to our most worthy Secretary.  In view of this, an omission to record some expression of our acknowledgments would have rendered the exercises of the evening incomplete indeed.  It is fitting also that we recognize the faithfulness to his trust and the enthusiasm which have rendered our venerable President an example to us all.  Often at great sacrifice of personal comfort, and to the neglect of more attractive engagements, and no matter what the season or the weather, he has always been at his post, punctual to the very moment appointed; though a septuagenarian, practically the youngest and most efficient of us all.  We all pray that he may long be spared to us as our crowning honor.  I therefore take pleasure in offering the following resolution:--

      "Resolved, That the thanks of this Society be tendered to Dr. Horatio Robinson Storer, in recognition of the efficient service rendered by him to the Society in the remarkably thorough performance of his duties as Secretary, and to Dr. Winslow Lewis, our President, as a slight token of our appreciative and affectionate esteem."

      Dr. Bixby's motion having been seconded, it was unanimously passed. Adjourned.  p. 20-21.

 

Proceedings. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Aug, 1871.

50th Regular Meeting; Jan. 17, 1871.

      The Secretary announced the following donations to the library: from himself, a memoir of the President of the Society, Dr. Winslow Lewis, illustrated by an engraved portrait, and reprinted from the "New England Historical and Genealogical Register;" GET THIS!!

51ST Regular Meeting; Feb. 7, 1871.

      ... As instances in point, Dr. Storer narrated the following cases:--

      A Jewess, aged fifty, and unmarried, consulted him with regard to what she supposed to be external escape of the uterus.  p.80

      Dr. Storer stated that some weeks since he had received a communication from Prof. Priestly (sic), of London, requesting his co-operation with the prominent medical gentlemen of Great Britain who were moving in the matter of erecting suitable memorials to the late Prof. Simpson. p. 86.

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, July, 1871, 48-64.

      The Sierra Nevada fairly groaned as it was being delivered of that Protest of the Councillors of the Massachusetts Medical Society against last year's action of the American Medical Association.  See what a ridiculous little mouse it proved to be when finally laid upon the table at San Francisco. p. 48-49.

      [Mass. Med Society Protest]

      ...

      "The Massachusetts Medical Society does not desire in this representation to give occasion for any controversy with or concerning individuals.  Nevertheless, it is proper, in order to a full understanding of the weight and importance of the protest lodged against its delegates, to state that the gentlemen interposing this protest were themselves Fellows of the Society.  They may have been of the opinion that the Society had the power to do what they thus arraigned it for not having done; yet neither of them ever made the attempt to test either the power or the disposition of the Society by making charges and demanding the trial of any irregular practitioner.  They were unconsciously arraigning their own self-admitted short-comings while attempting, for some undisclosed purpose, to bring their own Society into disrepute.

      "It is farther to be observed that these gentlemen not only came into your honorable body with complaints touching alleged irregularities in their own Society, which they made no effort to correct at home, but that they took the extraordinary step of protesting against the admission of its delegates without having given notice of their design.  Had such notice been given, the delegates might either have remained at home, or have prepared themselves with the appropriate proofs and arguments to meet the objections to be raised.

      "The spectacle of members of a Society performing the fraternal duty of objecting to the reception of its delegates, they themselves being all the while liable to the very charges which they bring against their brethren, and this, too, without notice beforehand, is not an edifying one, and is not likely to occasion unqualified admiration in the minds of honorable men.  The Committee on Ethics seemed to see and the appreciate the peculiar position of the protesters in the present instance. p. 57-58.

      The further consideration of the Councillors' Protest was therefore indefinitely postponed.  To its authors, in the grief to which they have come, we tender our respectful sympathy.  In the elegant language of the elder Bigelow, when himself venturing to California, they would "press forward to their destiny," and have seen "the ------."  We spare their feelings and leave the Jacobian last word ["elephant"] unsaid. p. 61-62.

 

50th Regular Meeting; Jan. 17, 1871.

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Aug., 1871, 122-123.

      A very long road it is that knows no turning, and it were the basest of ingratitude that did not recognize and publicly acknowledge the full accomplishment of one's heart's chief desire.

      A great, fundamental, and complete change has been made in the Medical School of Harvard University.  Not merely have the means been now afforded of obtaining a more thorough professional education than ever before, but the very ground plan of the school itself has been altered throughout to suit the wants of the age, and Harvard is again, by a bold stroke of administrative genius, at the head of our American medical colleges.

      We prophesied, months and months ago, that this change would come, and very shortly too, just as we had taken occasion to show, previously, that it must come; and the action of the American Medical Association at San Francisco, with reference to which such bitter comments were made at the late annual meeting of the Massachusetts Medical Society, was as surely predicted, certain as we were that the time was close at hand when the old cobwebs that sloth and selfishness had woven about the school, all swept away by the resistless influence of "The New Education," we could call upon the profession everywhere to rally to the support of dear old Harvard.

      Our own position has, for some time, been that of opposition.  We have been contending, however, with principles, and not with men, save as these may have been the embodiment of what has seemed short-sighted or wrong.  The ends for which we have striven, with such earnestness and persistency, have all been accomplished; and it is with pleasure that we now cast down the sword.  The changes that this Journal has so often suggested, have been accepted, President Eliot has stated "by the unanimous consent of the College Faculty."  This being the case, we bury the past, and shall endeavor, as best we may, to strengthen the hands of those who, willingly or unwillingly, have at last taken a stand worthy of the name they bear.

      To this subject we shall, and perhaps repeatedly, allude.  Meanwhile, writing still from the shore of the Pacific, we commend to all friends of true reform in Medical Education the appended remarks by the President of the University to the Fellows of the Massachusetts Medical Society, wherein the same regenerative influences are actively at work that have saved the College.* [*Vide Dr. Carpenter's Address upon Quackery in the Regular Profession.-Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, May 11, 1871, p. 313.]

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Sept. 1871.

52nd Regular Meeting, Feb. 21, 1871

      The Secretary also read, as illustrative of many communications of a similar character addressed to the editors of the Society's Journal, the following extract from a letter from a physician of Ohio.  Its reading elicited much applause:--

      "Both of us have been subscribers and readers of your Journal from the beginning, and we have not only enjoyed its reading, but trust we have profited withal.  While we should have enjoyed something better than the lampooning you have self-conceit and tyranny, I have myself known the necessity that exists for such work.  I am a native of New England, and am thoroughly posted in relation to medical matters in Boston and vicinity, and I give you a most hearty God-speed in the work in which you are engaged.  If your physic cleans out the self-conceit and presumption of such men as Prof. Buckingham and colleagues, you will confer a benefit on them as well as on the profession and the community at large." p. 131-2.

      Dr. Bixby presented, on behalf of MEssrs. Harris Brothers, of Boston, samples of their imported Champaigne cider, made from the juice of crab apples.  The bottles were opened, their contents duly administered to the gentlemen present, and unanimously approved. p. 132.

      Dr. Storer alluded to the fact that in some instances of criminal abortion in the married, the wife was not so much to blame as the husband.  He reported a case, occurring in good society, where the wife objecting, he had reason to believe that she had been forcibly tied to the bed by the husband, in such a position that the criminal operation bacame possible, and was performed by her attendant, who was a Fellow of the Massachusetts Medical Society.

      Dr. Martin did not believe any such idle story.  Some women were altogether too prone to throw doubts upon the character of their husbands.

      Dr. Weston, on the other hand, from his position as coroner, had had abundant evidence for believing that such cases as that reported by Dr. Storer, although exceptional, were in no cases exaggerated.

      Dr. Storer remarked that the circumstances of the case, as detailed by him, were all corroborative of each other.  It was not one of the idle stories referred to by Dr. Martin, of which he knew there were altogether too many afloat, but it bore every stamp, not only of probability, but of truth.

      Dr, Warren had repeatedly seen the patient referred to, and would remark that the incidental way in which the fact had been mentioned to Dr. Storer was, to his mind, strong proof of its reality.

      Dr. Martin considered such a case to be as apocryphal as that of the famous Philadelphia dentist, who was charged wit offering violence to a patient under anaesthesia. p.  137-8.

      Dr. Warner referred to the fact pointed out by Dr. Storer, in his work upon "Reflex Insanity in Women," that the medical officers of insane asylums cannot safely treat gynaecological cases in the institution under their charge.  During the past season he had visited that Provincial Lunatic Asylum at Halifax, N.S., and had been assured by Dr. De Wolfe, its Medical Superintendent, that, so true was this statement, he never dared to make a vaginal examination of an insane patient. p. 139-140.

      The effects [of choral] were very similar, as regarded the sensations at the time, and the prolongation of the sleep, to those produced by the taking of 3 ii doses of chloroform into the stomach, -- a remedy which he had repeatedly employed upon himself in this manner, in the vain attempt to cure periodical summer catarrh. p. 142.

53rd regular meeting, March 7, 1871.

      The Committee upon Membership having reported unfavorably with reference to an applicant, the ballot for whom was postponed from the last meeting, he was unanimously blackballed. p. 144.

      Dr. Weston suggested that, in speaking thus [chloroform as safe as ether], Dr. M[ack]. could not be aware of the proposal that had been made , to erect a shaft of black marble on the Public Garden here in Boston, over against the ether monument, to the victims of chloroform. p. 149.

      Dr. Warner had also recently heard from the patient at Wakefield, where Dr. Storer had first ventured to leave open the abdominal wound after ovariotomy, and she was in excellent condition.  He believed that the patient would hardly have survived if the operation had been performed in the usual manner.

      The Secretary read a communication from Dr. Ely Van De Warker, of Syracuse, N.Y., a Corresponding Member, upon

                      THE DETECTION OF CRIMINAL ABORTION.

[Dr. Van De Warker's paper was published int eh Journal of the Society for May, 1871.]

      Dr. Storer remarked that he considered the paper that had just been read a most valuable contribution to practical gynaecology and medical jurisprudence.  It discussed many points that were practically new to science.    Dr. Warner reported a case of

GROSS VIOLATION OF THE CODE OF ETHICS OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION.

      In April last he had diagnosticated perinephritic abscess, in a case he was attentding with Dr. Storer, and they both expressed the opinion that an operation was indicated.  The patient preferred to postpone this until after returning from the country, where she passed the summer, with much benefit to her general health.  Since her return in October, she had, however, rapidly grown worse.  There was evidently a large collection of pus in the left hypochondriac region, and Dr. Warner again in February, very strongly urged the operation, being supported in this opinion by Dr. Storer, and by Dr. Bowditch, who was also called in consultation.  At the suggestion of some friends of the family, Dr. Warner was desired to ask Dr. Morrill Wyman, of Cambridge, to see the patient with him.  To this, Dr. W. willingly consented, and appointed an hour for the purpose.  Dr. Wyman, however, not only refused to "consult with any physician who practised that specialty," namely the diseases of women, but offered to see the patient alone, by himself, before the hour appointed by Dr. Warner; although distinctly told by the husband that that gentleman was to continue in charge of the case.  He did so visit the patient, and premptorily advised against any operation, although she was rapidly sinking, having already passed into the condition of septicaemia.  Feeling very naturally aggrieved, and convinced that delay was jeopardizing the patient's only chance for recovery, Dr. Warner called in Dr. Hooker, of East Cambridge, who agreed that the operation was required.  Accordingly, on the 7th of March, nearly a fortnight's precious time having been lost through Dr. Wyman's ungentlemanly course, the operation was performed by Dr. Storer; Drs. Warner and Bowditch being present.  The diagnosis having been settled, and pus shown to be present, by the use of the pneumatic aspirator, a large trocar was passed just behind the angle of the lower short rib, and nearly a quart of extremely fetid matter discharged.  The patient, though very feeble, was now doing well.  There had been little obscurity about the diagnosis, for many months the uterus being mobile, and no induration of the pelvic cellular tissue to be detected by the vagina.  Dr. Warner reported the case as one in which nearly all the chances of a patient's life had been sacrificed to a jealous professional selfishness, and as an instance of gross violation of the code of ethics of the American Medical Association.  He would say, moreover, that Dr. Bowditch, upon writing to Dr. Wyman for an explanation of this strange conduct, had been told in reply, that Dr. W. did not wish to give Dr. Bowditch any unnecessary pain, but that Dr. Warner "had been or was associated in practice with Dr. H.R. Storer."  Dr. W. had previously supposed, from what he had heard of Dr. Wyman, that he was both a skillful diagnostician and a gentleman; but from his connection with the present case, he feared that in both these respects he had been misinformed.  He did not blame Dr. Wyman, whom he did not know even by sight, for refusing to consul with him, if he saw fit, although as a Fellow of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and a Permanent Member of the American Medical Association, he had perhaps a right to a little more show of courtesy.  Dr. Wyman had, however, behaved in a very dishonorable manner when he entered the patient's house and visited her professionally in the absence of the regular attendant.  It was not to his credit, besides, when he spoke in so contemptuous a manner of gentlemen, who, like the members of this Society, acknowledge and endeavor to relieve the diseases of women.

      Dr. Wheeler was very much surprised and shocked at the conduct of Dr. Wyman.  He would hardly have supposed that mere jealousy, or any other personal motive, could have induced so prominent a physician to behave in so unprofessional a manner.

      Dr. Martin considered that refusing to consult with a member of the profession in good and regular standing was a very grave offence, indictable before a Board of Trial fo the Massachusetts Medical Society.

      Dr. Lewis, the President, thought, too, such conduct, imperiling as here the life of a patient, was alike contemptible and wicked. p. 150-153.

 

"The Propriety of Operating of malignant Ovarian Disease." Read before the San Francisco Medical Society, July 25, 1871, Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston. September, 1871. p. 158-167. By Horatio Robinson Storer. [Read before the San Francisco Medical Society, July 25, 1871.]

      [Anti-Theodore Gaillard Thomas article]

      ... To avoid the risk of an unsuccessful operation, it is very easy to decline receiving a doubtful case, but it is far more creditable to save a life that would otherwise have been lost, by simply pursuing the same course that would be taken in every other problem of surgery, and that is, where a disease is evidently killing the patient, is practically isolable, and can be removed with less risk that to leave it alone, then to remove it. p.. 166.

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Sept., 1871, 188-192.

      Sitting by the Golden Gate, we have been watching, with ever deepening interest, the ceaseless passage of the nations.  May, June, and now July have gone, yet, chained, we linger still.  This strange blending of the seasons, with its unimagined wealth of flowers; wheatfields, sun-burned as by fire, yet as rich in color as their underlying gold; bright vineyards and orchards so laden that they seem to woo the gather's hand; magical and constantly shifting scenery; infant cities already possessing the growth, adorning, and refinement of centuries; thrifty institutions of learning and charity; a public spirit unknown to the East, and private enterprise the most astonishing,--these alone might make for the most casual observer a profitable summer. p. 188-189.

      ... In addition, the cosmopolitan character fo the Pacific profession has furnished us with a most fascinating study of personal equations and general average.  In marked contrast with what obtains on the Eastern side of the continent, the condition here has its admirable and its obverse side, there being a wholesome lack of provinciality, but withal, and to a very great extent, an absence of professional esprit de corps.  The recent convention of the American Medical Association went far towards exerting the centralizing force hitherto as needed as it was unknown.  We will, therefore, speak briefly of what was actually done by the Association, correcting at the same time certain erroneous impressions that have been given by superficial or partisan correspondents. p 189-190.

      A great ado has been made about a somewhat prolonged discussion that occurred upon the recognition, whether directly or indirectly, of female practitioners of medicine.  From the outset it was evident that the Association intended to adhere, as it did adhere, to its previous judicious policy.  Desperate attempts were made by gentlemen under the ban of their local societies to obtain a new departure, conscious as they were of what awaits them next year at Philadelphia; but these efforts failed.

      To the action of the Association concerning the Massachusetts Medical Society, we have adverted in a previous number of the Journal.  As we had foretold, the Society was restored to its privilege of representation, and its Councillors brought to well merited confusion. p. 190-191.

      The members of the Society, and friends of gynaecology everywhere, will recognize with delight, in the foregoing editorial, the accustomed vigor and clearness of its author.

      Those of us who have known him more intimately, have enjoyed the honor and benefit of his instruction, and have witnessed for years his close and systematic application, can fully appreciate his need of an absolute mental and physical rest.  Therefore we rejoice that, "sitting by the golden gate," in a land where we find the "strange blending ... "--he has been able to find that much-needed rest.

      The return of our associate will be welcomed by the members of the Society, the readers of the Journal, and by one who has held with trembling hands the editor's portfolio during his absence.[probably Bixby]

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Oct. 1871.

54th Regular Meeting, March 21, 1871 [Discussion of quackery in gynecology]

55th Regular Meeting, April 4, 1871

      Dr. Storer called the attention of members to the remarks that were made at the Obstetrical Society of London, regarding the decease of the late Sir James Y. Simpson, by Dr. Tyler Smith and Mr. Spencer Wells.  The latter gentleman was personally known to so many of the Society that his statements would be listened to with great interest.  They were as follows:--

      "Mr. Spencer Wells seconded the resolution with the mournful satisfaction felt in attempting to do honor to the memory of a lost friend.  His acquaintance with Simpson dated from 1855, when with great liberality he invited him to operate in the Royal infirmary of Edinburgh, on a case of vesico-vaginal fistula.  He (Mr. Wells) arrived at Edinburgh on New Year's day, 1855.  The night was spent with Simpson, Dr. Priestly, (sic) and others [Horatio?] in visiting the prisons, whiskey-shops, and other low haunts of that city; the next day among Simpson's private and hospital work.  At night Simpson entered into a learned discussion, at the Royal Society, on some othe Buddhist opinions, and monuments of Asia, compared with the symbols of the ancient sculptured 'standing stones' of Scotland.  After this meeting, Simpson drove him (MR. Wells) to a country house, the scene of the ball in Waverley, where patients were visited in the middle of the night, the house and grounds seen by moonlight, and Edinburgh only reached in the early morning.  That day Mr. Wells did his operation in the Edinburgh Infirmary,* [*We[!! Who was we?] were present at the time, and can testify to the skill with which MR. Wells' operation was performed. -- H.R.S.] and returned to London in the evening, Simpson having only been in bed two hours all this time, -- no uncommon example, it was said, of his marvelous activity, and power of work; and now he is gone few will think that the Lord-Provost of Edinburgh went too far, when he called the discovery of the anaesthtetic effects of chloroform 'a great gift to mankind.'  Simpson never claimed to be the discoverer of anaesthesia; but he did claim, and claim justly, the first application of sulphuric ether as an anaesthetic in midwifery, and the discovery of the power of chloroform, which discovery extended rapidly and greatly the practice of anaesthesia; and Fellows of the Obstetrical Society, accustomed to watch the sufferings of women, during the most trying moments of their existence, and well able to appreciate the value of the discovery, and the energy and ability with which he ascertained the effects of ether and chloroform in all stages of parturition, and his convincing answers to the so-called religious objections, as well as the tact and wit by which he overcame those who thought the new practice 'unnatural.'

      "'How did you come from Belfast?' said he to a lady. 'By steamer, to Glascow.'  'That was unnatural madam; why didn't you swim?'  By Simpson's hard work, anaesthesia in midwifery became an established practice, and his demonstration of the effects of chloroform led to tits rapid extension in surgery and medicine.  He had well earned his crest motto. Dolore victo. In his own last answer to Bigelow, this is the substance of his claim, and his last words should live in our memory: ' I am a sas invalid just now, and quite unable to write with the force and brevity required.  With many of our profession in America, I have the honor of being personally acquainted, and regard their friendship so very highly, that I shall not regret this attempt -- my last, perhaps -- at professional writing, as altogether useless on my part, if it tend to fix my name and memory duly in their love and esteem.'"* [*Transactions of the Obstetrical Society, of London, vol. xii., 1871, p. 242.  See also this Journal for May, 1870 (supplement).]

      Dr. Storer proposing to be absent for several weeks in California, the President appointed Dr. Bixby, Secretary pro tem.  p. 226-8. [ Storer left for California after April 4 and before April 18, 1871]

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Oct., 1871, 254-255.

      ...

      Boards of Health, both East and West, will be pretty sure to find, in well-washed and safely-trapped sewers, the surest of protections against low forms of malarial fever as well as typhoid.  If conjoined with subsoil drainage of all moist lands by porous tile, of whose advantage not half enough has ever been said by medical men, the protection would be well-nigh perfect; and should Dr. Bowditch be correct in his views of the causation of consumption, this scourge, too, would be almost overcome.

      [G.H.B] We have read with lively interest, in a Boston Sunday newspaper, for Sept. 17, 1871, an editorial entitled "The Crime of Abortion."  We heartily commend it for its truthfulness, boldness, and for the clear and comprehensive manner in which the editor has treated the subject.  The Gynaecological Society, upon many occasions, as may be seen by referring to its transactions, has discussed, with marked earnestness, the evils of this deplorable crime of the period.  Individually and collectively have its members placed themselves with those who deplore and condemn it, and have pledged themselves, by every possible means or influence they possess, to its suppression.  In this missionary work the editor very sensibly remarks, that "much can be done by the Press."  We agree fully with him, that "the press hesitates to criticise it, because of a false modesty, which makes the discussion of a crime, and the means to prevent it, worse than the crime itself," and also "that the time has come when silence can no longer be excused."

      A free discussion of this subject by every respectable journal in the land, would, we believe, carry conviction into many, many hearts, and save to the world innumerable precious lives, and untold moral and physical pangs.  But what would be the use of free discussion, and such united action as that suggested in the noble sentiment of the editorial in question, when over against it in the same issue, or perhaps in a more conspicuous column, there appear the flaming announcements of notorious quacks and abortionists, or long lists of lauded nostrums, with their insidious cautions to women, in italics, against "their use by ladies in an interesting condition"?

      Is the press intended for the public weal or public woe?  According to our observation in nine-tenths of the cases of criminal abortion, so often resulting in the death of both mother and child, the poor victim has found her information in the columns of some respectable newspaper.

      When we consider the extent of this crying evil, the very thought is appalling.  We cannot serve God and mammon.  We doubt the efficacy of the prayer of "Good God and Good Devil."  No, gentlemen of the press, either lend us your powerful influence, undivided and unalloyed, in this humane, ennobling, Christianizing work,--an object worthy of the highest aspiration of the human soul,--or forever hold your peace.--G.H.B.[good boy George!] p. 255-256.

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Nov. 1871. 257-

56th Regular Meeting, April 18, 1871 [Bixby advocating antiseptic surgery and deep quill sutures]

57th Regular Meeting, May 2, 1871

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Nov., 1871, 306-320.

      At home once more, after an absence of half a year, we have occupied ourselves, with equal interest and pleasure, in resurveying the old, familiar ground; making ourselves again--we say it in no offensive sense--"master of the situation."  Let us see whether we have not succeeded.

      Last April, tired and weary, both in body and mind, and, withal, blood-poisoned from a dissection would, we sought, in change of scene and climate, the recreation these so often afford.  At that time, certain forces had been set at work here in Boston, chiefly through the instrumentality of the Gynaecological Society, whose results we both foresaw and foretold.  As yet, however, even to the sanguine, there issue seemed uncertain, while there were many, even among the faithful, who were almost dispirited by the long and weary waiting, which so often precedes the fullest success.

      Men asked themselves and each other whether, in the variances that had arisen between certain Fellows of the Massachusetts Medical Society and the Councillors of that body, and a portion of the profession and the Medical Faculty of Harvard College, it were possible for the tremendous power of patronage and mutually supporting usurpation to be withstood,--much more, utterly vanquished and beaten down,--and there were scores f those who hoped for a change, who yet hesitated to show their hands.

      On April 5th, 1871, there occurred that now historic struggle here in Boston, in which, by a majority of one single vote, the general medical Society of this city, the Suffolk District, yielded to the mandate of those who claimed to be its masters, and placed itself in direct opposition to the National Association.* [*See this Journal, May, 1871, p. 315.]  We said at the time that "a well-contested defeat might be better than an easy victory."  That this was such, the event has proved.

We left our friends, confident in the continuous success, from this moment, of the party of the Future as against that of the Past.  Let us see how nearly we were right in our opinion.

      We reached San Francisco.  On the third day therefrom there occurred that overwhelming rebuke of the Councillors of the Massachusetts Medical Society by the American Medical Association,* [*See this Journal, July, 1871, p. 48.] so little expected by the Committee of the Councillors that not a single man of them had taken the trouble to accompany to California its protest; or else so fully expected, that not a man of them had dared to go.  IN this little contest, the Gynaecological Society, and the Future that it represents, had won.

      A few days thereafter there came to us the tidings that the Harvard Medical School, true to its earliest traditions, and literally "throwing the last rag of its later suicidal policy to the winds," [See this Journal, October, 1870, p. 269; and January, 1871, p.57.] had adopted the advice so often urged upon it by this Journal, and which, it had been openly alleged,[find this open allegation] should, for that very reason, never be accepted.  The influence of the Gynaecological Society, it may be said, had nothing whatsoever to do with this change.[!]  It was purely the spontaneous act, we may be told, of a progressive and lively Faculty, who had always striven to keep in advance of all the requirements of the medical age. [*See this Journal, August, 1871, p. 124.]  We cheerfully grant all this, for we have promised henceforth to do what we can to strengthen the now cheerful zeal of these gentlemen; and we have reason to believe that there are influences actively at work in their midst which they dare not ignore, and cannot resist.  Should, however, there be any of our readers who think that they recollect any articles to have appeared in this Journal which might possibly have had to do with the result that has been obtained, we are sufficiently magnanimous to agree with the Faculty that it could not have been the case.  There are those, however, who affirm that, in the College change of base, the Society, and the Future that it so feebly represents, had won again.

      Then there occurred the Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Medical Society, with the exhibition of unseemly haste on the part of chastised Councillors,to place themselves, in the matter of irregular practitioners, by a backward somersault,* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, June 15th, 1871, p. 400.] in accord with the sentiments of the mass of the Fellows as expressed at the meeting of the previous year, and with the Code of Ethics of the American Medical Association,--a power that, however the Annual Orator might deride it, [Ibid, p. 401.] has been fully recognized this year by both the Massachusetts Medical Society and the Medical College.  Again the Society and the party of the Future had won.

      And how stands the balance?  Are events falsifying the predictions that we have made?  This Journal has insisted upon the recognition of specialties.  Read the Introductory Address just given at the Medical College, and see therein to what posts of honor the Faculty would now raise them.  Indeed, they have been raised already; for, even as we go to press, the Secretary of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University announces the creation for the School of a full Professor of Ophthalmology, a full Professor of Dermatology, and a full Professor of Mental Disease, as last year recommended by the American Medical Association, while the instructors in Otology there are not one, but two (for each ear, perhaps); and Syphilis, as though it were the prince of all diseases, has meantime been constituted a separate branch of instruction by itself.  Which wins here again, the Past or the Future?

      We might instance many more signs of the changing times than these: the approaching triumph, for instance, of the friends of the City Lunatic Hospital in it change of location, the exact character of which we so long ago predicted.* [*See this Journal, July, 1869, p. 63; August, 1869, p. 123; and January, 1870, p. 54,]  When we then exposed the folly of certain of our more prominent medical men,--"reviewing an awkward squad," we termed it,--very officious among whom was the gentleman [who??]toasted at this year's dinner of the State Society, as so "devoted, both body and soul, to the welfare of patients," [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, June 22d, 1871, p. 419.] we hardly expected to see them so soon deserted by those who, till now, have ever upheld them.  But behold how their old-time staff of support has at last failed them!  "In 1869," we copy from a respected contemporary, only a fortnight ago, concerning the proposed site at Winthrop, "the views of a number of the most respectable physicians of Boston were obtained.  The opinion of most of these gentlemen was adverse to the plan proposed by the Directors and sanctioned by the medical men interested in the care of insane patients.  It is to be presumed that the opinions expressed by these gentlemen were sincere, and given only after a personal inspection of the locality; otherwise, of course, the go for nothing." [Ibid, October 19th, 1871, p. 258.  The italics above, so significant as regards their connection, are not our own.]  The gentlemen referred to, after such a cauterization, may well pray to be saved from the criticisms of their friends.

      And so we might go on.  We do not care, however, to weary our readers.  What we have said may serve to show those who feared, how groundless was their alarm, and those who boasted, that their pride has been only equalled by their fall.  As for ourselves, we resume the editorial chair with renewed health, patience, and courage.

      So much for the situation; a word as to the surroundings.  We have found, at our return, very much more of a gynaecological atmosphere here in Boston than ever before; and we use the word in the twofold sense which men have of late been accustomed to apply to it when speaking of the Society.  That is to say, there appears,--from many indications expressed to us in conversation, by letter, and even in the personal demeanor of individuals,--not merely a greater zeal and more active interest in the study and treatment of uterine disease ont eh part of gentlemen outside the circle of the Society's immediate members, but also, what it is very refreshing to find, more manly and appreciative expressions of opinion concerning measures and men, less trimming and timorousness, and greater respect for the fact that all the medical philosophers, skillful surgeons, and wise practitioners in the world do not reside in Boston.

      We may be asked, however, if the gynaecological climate, so to speak, of Boston, is already an unexceptionable (sic) one.  As yet, of course, it is not; but the change for the better has been very rapid and satisfactory.  Is the Society, for instance, yet recognized by those whom this Journal as been sending down into history, like pretty insects preserved upon pins?[!!]  It would have been folly to have expected so much the present year.

      And yet how oddly, in view of the well-known facts in the case, must the following, which we clip from the "Students' Number" of the "Boston Medical and Surgical Journal," published the past month, seem to our distant readers; the marked way in which it not acknowledges, but asserts, the existence of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, evinces, to say the least, the courtesy that always distinguishes gentlemen:--

            "MEDICAL SOCIETIES IN BOSTON.

"Boston Medical Association.

"Boylston Medical Society of Harvard University.

"Boston Society for Medical Improvement.

"Boston Society for Medical Observation.

"Suffolk District Medical Society.

"Massachusetts Medical Benevolent Society.

"Boston Obstetrical Society.

"Boston Society of Medical Sciences."* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, October 5th, 1871, p. 231.]

      The above carries the same official stamp that is visible upon every page of the number of the "Journal" to which we have referred.  There may be those, however, who might suppose that it evinces inadvertence or extraordinary ignorance, rather than a hostile spirit, which as yet has never openly declared itself, and which we are willing to believe does not exist.  Let us then present another little illustration form the very same page.  It will be recollected that, as previously, we are merely chronicling the increase of the Gynaecological Society's influence during the past half year.

            "HOSPITALS IN BOSTON.

"Massachusetts General Hospital.

"The City Hospital.

"The Massachusetts Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary.

"Boston Dispensary,

"The Children's Hospital." * [*Loc. citat. p. 299.]

      Why, some may ask, was the City Lunatic Hospital omitted, with its crowds of patients?  Can it be because this Journal has expressed an interest in its welfare?  To ignore it was certainly no compliment to its able Medical Superintendent, Dr. Walker.

      And why, it may be inquired, with even more surprise, was the great Carney (General) Hospital, at South Boston, passed over in silence?  A poor recognition this of the devoted Sisters of Charity, and their attending physicians and surgeons.  The Consulting Board may understand the reason, however, two of their number happening to be members of the Gynaecological Society, and editors of this Journal.

      That the existence of St. Elizabeth's Hospital for women, mainly officered as it is by members of this Society, was also forgotten upon the list, as it can excite no surprise, should provoke no comment.

      These things, however, are but trifles, little sparks from the cooling ashes, we hope, of a fire that ought, in view of the changed relations of the College Faculty to the outside profession, to be allowed to die out.  In  a late number of this Journal,* [*See this Journal, August 1871, p. 123.] we have promised our aid to the University in its every effort to advance and improve its system of medical instruction, and no petty exhibition of their former temper, upon the part of individuals, can make us forget that, as members of the Press, and therefore, so far as our influence extends, controllers of public opinion, we occupy a higher level than themselves.  The success of the School, in its new role, depends in great measure upon agencies that, however it may affect to do so, it cannot afford to despise.  No amount of self-conceit, or of mutual admiration, upon the part of its instructors, can take the place of outside approbation and aid.

                               _________________

      We have spoken in praise of the new departure towards better things made by the Harvard Medical College, and we have reiterated our intention to give to the Faculty our cordial support.  Taking, however, as many concede we have a right to do, in view of the past, almost a fatherly interest in their success, we shall continue from time to time, and as circumstances may seem to require, to offer them such suggestions as may be needed, confident, as we are, that our tender of advice will be sure of immediate acceptance.

      It was our great pleasure to be present, last month, at the Introductory Lecture before the Medical Class.  We were not there, to be sure, as used to be the case in former years, as an invited guest, but perhaps, for that very reason, the opinions we now express, as they are less likely to be biased, may carry the greater weight.  As the editors of this Journal, we could but have been welcome.

      Dr. Cheever's Address was, upon the whole, a very satisfactory one.  It was a manly, straightforward acceptance by the Faculty of the new situation in which time, that changes all men's opinions, has placed them.  The great advances made by his colleagues, said Dr. Cheever, were because they were in themselves "right and proper," and they had been "demanded"* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, October 5, 1871, p. 218.] by the profession.  Those are always wise men who so quickly heed the public voice.

      We need not here speak of the details of the improved curriculum, as presented in the Introductory Lecture, for they must already be known by all our readers* [See President Eliot's remarks upon the subject, this Journal, August, 1871, p. 124.]  Nor will we at the present moment discuss the recognition by the Faculty of specialties, as legitimate subjects of instruction, further than to say that though they have progressed very far in the right direction, there is still somewhat more to be done.  The work will not be complete till the whole range of the special branches of practice, that are now recognized by the profession as legitimate, has been covered.

      There is one matter, however, to which the Faculty can hardly have given the attention which its importance deserves.  We mean the subject of instruction in Medical Jurisprudence.  Dr. Cheever devotes to it, in his recapitulation, a very few words, but these so distinctly state the intended policy of the Faculty, that we present them entire.

      "Medical Jurisprudence," says the Faculty, "is a subdivision of our art about which we should know something, as those learn to their cost who are called into court to testify.  Most colleges give a short course on it.  It is naturally divisible into two parts: First, The rules of expert testimony and the practice of courts of law, which would be best taught by lectures from a jurist; and, Second, expert testimony in toxicology, in surgery, in anatomy, in psychology, and in obstetrics, which would be better learned in connection with each of those departments."* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, October 5, 1871, p.216.]

      With reference to the above argument, it has a certain speciousness that at first sight might cause it to be accepted.  Judged by the usual standard of instruction in Medical Jurisprudence, certainly as it has hitherto been taught in the Boston School, there can be no doubt that it has practically amounted to little or nothing.  Here in Boston the course in this department has been merely in name, one of the several cheats upon which much of the old "sham" respectability of the School used to rest.  Medical Jurisprudence was merely an appendage to the midwifery chair; and not merely this, but it had to share its little fraction of attention with other important departments, which, though each deserving of special attention at the hands of teachers who are really masters in their art, still remain, we trust not intentionally, in undeserved obscurity and neglect.

      For one of them, the diseases of infants and children, why should not a full professor be chosen at once?  There can be no reason for delay, with such gentlemen at hand as Drs. Ware, Minot, and F.H. Brown.

      One great cause of the ill name that the Faculty seem inclined to attach to Medical Jurisprudence as a separate branch of study, is undoubtedly owing to the fact that those who have attempted to teach it have usually been lawyers who knew nothing whatsoever of physic, or doctors who knew as little of law. [Is HRS fishing for the job?]  And yet it is just precisely this same method, save that its folly would be intensified by subjecting the student to a pair of one-sided and therefore partially ignorant teachers instead of, as now, to a single one, that the Faculty wish to be permitted again to establish.

      There should be, we think, a separate and permanent Chair of Medical Jurisprudence, in view of the vital importance to every physician, as well as to the community, of the topics it includes.  The chair should be filled by one who has viewed the subject, systematically, from its twofold stand-point; that is to say, by a person who has been not merely a practitioner of medicine, but a student of law, and who knows, as none other possibly can, whereof he speaks.

      Can such a person be found? it may be asked.  Who more competent, we reply, than John Ordronaux, of Roslyn, N.Y., who already fills the medico-legal chair in half-a-dozen, or perhaps a dozen medical schools, and the only objection to whom could be, that it would seem best for a school that the interest and attractive power of its instructors should be undivided.  There have been C.C. Cox of Baltimore, Elwell of Cincinnati, Blankman of California, and others who might be named, each of whom has taken the double degree n Law and Medicine, and who, were they honored by the School as its choice, would confer even more honor upon it by their acceptance than they themselves could receive.

      There is another light in which this subject of Medical Jurisprudence must be viewed by the Overseers of the College, that has not been appreciated as yet, it would seem, by the Faculty.  We refer to the fact that the science of which we are speaking is as important in its theory and its practice to the members of the bar as to medical men.  So truly is this the fact, that were public lectures, say under the auspices of the Lowell Institute, to be given in this city by some first-class man, fitted for his work in the way of which we have spoken, they would be largely attended by legal practitioners.  This being the case, it would be a simple measure of worldly wisdom to open the college course, which properly initiated at the Medical School, also to the members of the Law Class at Cambridge.  Should it be thought that such action would be futile or but an experiment, we answer that one of the past Deans of the Medical School, Dr. Shattuck, will testify that there was a time, some years ago, when at the suggestion of the young enthusiast who then occupied the place of "assistant" during the summer session, the Faculty invited the students of the Law School to attend his "recitations" upon Medical Jurisprudence.  It was found, so great was the throng that attended, that the Library, which had heretofore sufficed for the summer instruction, and was then fully large enough for the classes of the other teachers, was altogether too small to hold the conjoined students.  The janitor, perplexed, threw open one of the "lecture-rooms," and it was used for the purpose.  The Dean may have forgotten the reprimand which he sent to the "assistant," in the name of the Faculty, for violating a sacred custom by teaching the class in a room that was to be used only by a full Professor,--as also the second rebuke that so soon followed because it was dared to fill to the class "by lecture" certain gaps concerning points in medical jurisprudence that were untouched by Casper, or Taylor, or Wharton & Stille'.  We too would like to forget those old times of red tape, official jealousy, and suppression of young and earnest men by those who have culminated; but the two little notes, in the Dean's handwriting, are just at this moment upon our table.  The dead, indeed, sometimes come back to do good service.

                                 _____________

      And now for an illustration of the truths just stated.  Dr. John Scott, of San Francisco, a noted and withal a noteworthy man, has just experienced in his own person, and simply from the lack of a better knowledge of the great principles of medical jurisprudence upon the part of divers lawyers and a certain professional rival, at once a severe test of what it is to be (a competent practitioner), to do (skillful surgical work), and to suffer (the suspense of a jury-trial, himself as defendant, the damages being laid at fifty thousand dollars); and he has also, by coming out of the ordeal unscathed, achieved a triumph for the whole profession.

      The circumstances of this famous case, or rather ...

 

An Outline History of American Gynaecology."  Article III. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, December, 1871. p. 334-347.

      In a865, Dr. H.R. Storer read papers to the Society [Massachusetts Medical Society] upon his "Clamp Shield for the Operation of Removing the Uterus by Abdominal Section,"* [New York Medical Record ...; Transaction of the American ...] and upon "The Abetment of Criminal Abortion by Medical Men." *[New York Medical Journal, September, 1866, p. 422.]  In view of the treatment his former communication to the Society, upon Anaesthetics in Obstetric Medicine and Surgery, had received,* [*See this Journal, November, 1869, p. 309.]  Dr. Storer refulsed to allow these papers to appear in the Publications of the Society, although he was requested by a formal vote to permit it.  The articles, as stated above, were published elsewhere. p. 337.

      It was in 1869, also, that Dr. Alfred Hitchcock, of Fitchburg, the Society's orator for the year, and no less known for his wisdom in political affairs and his earnestness as a Christian, than for his medical sckil, recalled attention to the influence of Criminal Abortion in producing uterine disease.  Dr. H. thus rivets attention upon this one of the "organic and parallel relations of Christianity and medical science."

      "Clairvoyance and spiritualism, or the practice of invoking the souls of the dead to cure the bodies and guide the morals of the living; inebriety as a sin and a disease; and pre-infanticide, not an imitation, but a forestalling of the work of Herod, together make a tripod of crime which in this nineteenth century not only permeates with leprous poison the heart of American society, but already, like a huge melanotic cancer, deforms the body and threatens to make it loathsome to sight and touch. ...

      Pre-infanticide, the last named, but not the least of the trio, in producing immense physical and moral damage to society, is an evil demanding the united influence of both professions for its abatement.  Wherever or on whomsoever rests the responsibility for the modern increase of this evil, the principles of religion and medical science in their bearing on this subject should all be used to educate the people, and expose the enormous physical, intellectual and moral depravity which this crime induces.

      "This home crime in Christian America, this concealed skeleton around the domestic hearth, shatters the female constitution, destroys physical and moral health, perverts natural affection at the fountain, lowers the general sense of individual virtue, and the sacredness of human life, and is a barbaric stain and disgrace to Christian civilization.

      "Some bold and honest spirits in both professions have not feared to sound the slogan and wield the claymore against this monstrous and degrading evil; while many more Doctors in Divinity and Medicine, who doubtless in their consciences timidly approve of aggressive war in the quarters of this vice, have as yet only courage in the gristle, waiting for ossification to enable them openly to preach and practise against this pagan crime.

      "This is an evil demanding the enlightened vigilance and energetic opposition of every intelligent and reasoning Christian, whether clergyman, layman, or physician.

      "in this connection it is but justice to say, that the Catholic Church, in reference to Pre-infanticide and Spiritism, is less derelict of her duty than the Protestant Church.  Why it is so, I will not here inquire or attempt to explain, but the fact is patent and undeniable, and Protestantism, especially in America, must bear the disgrace or rouse itself to resist and overthrow the crime and the delusion.

      "Every city and almost every village in this Commonwealth has its Herod, its Simon Magus or Elymas, with their premature killings, magic, and sorceries, but lamentably few John the Baptists, or Peters, or Pauls to denounce them as 'enemies of all righteousness,' and warn the people against their iniquities."* [*Med. Com. of the Mass. Med. Society, 1869, p. 109.

      The direct work of the Massachusetts Medical Society towards developing a gynaecological science is thus brought down to the present time.  We shall now refer to the several collateral publications under its auspices, comprised in the "Library of PRactical Medicine."

                              (To be continued.)

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Dec. 1871. 257-

58th Regular Meeting, May 16, 1871

59th Regular Meeting, June 6, 1871

 

Editorial notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Dec., 1871, 370-384.

      Broken at last, and not merely broken in Twain, but shivered to fragments, is "the Boston Ring."  It can never be reunited.

 

      The various chapters we have published, of the current history of the Medical School of Harvard University, have been intelligible enough to the majority of our readers.  There have been some, it is true, who said that they were unable to see the necessity of what we have done, and who affected to consider it a wicked disturbance of the public peace.  The events, however, of the past few months, which have culminated in an almost complete reconstruction of the school, have wrought an equal revolution in men's minds.  Many who have regretted or condemned our course, now tender us their congratulations and apologies.

      We have now to chronicle, in addition to the changes already noted, two very great steps forward, upon the part of those by whom the Medical School is at last, as it should always have been, governed.

      The first of these innovations, which will be found as beneficial as it is radical, is the taking from the Faculty of the Medical School its financial management, and vesting it in the government of the University, where it rightly belongs.  We do not say that the pecuniary affairs of the school have not been properly managed in years past.  They will, however, be more properly managed in the future.

      The second change, and it will be appreciated by all gynaecologists, has occurred during the past month, and it is nothing less than the practical recantation of all that has been said, so sedulously and so offensively in certain quarters, concerning the importance and respectability of attention, upon the part of physicians, to the diseases of women.  We refer to the appointment of Dr. Francis Minot, whom we spoke of in our last number as a competent person for the needed professorship of the diseases of infants and children, to a clinical lectureship upon these diseases, and those of women also!

      It will be said that this was a perfectly spontaneous act upon the part of the Faculty, uninspired and uninfluenced by any outside suggestion or pressure.  Of course this spontaneity must be allowed, as we have already so cheerfully done with regard to many other innovations, of whose way of reception and treatment by the members of the Faculty, at their private meetings, we have all along been kept duly informed.  The fact, however, remains that while during the last summer it was recommended to the Board of Overseers by the President and Corporation of the University, to establish a full professorship of the diseases of women, as had been advised to all the colleges by the American Medical Association, the recommendation was voted down,--an act said to have been wholly without precedent, and that must have been taken as a very high compliment by the government of the University.

      Such condemnation by the Overseers, of the suggestion made them by the President and Corporation, could but occasion a good deal of public comment.  It is said by some of the Board, that their action was in consequence of earnest representation upon the part of members of the Faculty of the Medical School, that it was contrary to previous custom for changes thus to initiate at a level above them, and that any such tendency must be stopped at the outset.  "Had not," it was argued, "the chairs always been made and filled by the Faculty themselves from time immemorial?  How else could they reward their favorites, or buy off those who might become available candidates for a rival school?"

                              ------------------

      Are we incorrect in our last statement?  It is possible that the following extracts form what might be termed "The Medical Faculty's Letter of Dictation to the President and Corporation of the University," may settle this question.  From the first word that we quote, down to the very last, it will be found to be a protest against the new regime, and an assertion, in so many words, that so far from the best men, those with perhaps a national reputation and a national influence, being called to the work they are fitted for, and the drones and incompetent men removed from the positions they have so long disgraced, the old system of nepotism should be indefinitely prolonged.  Read it but through. p. p. 370-373.

      "Most American Colleges," says the Professor of Surgery in that Address of hus upon "Medical Education in America," or rather in Boston,--which has been so widely sent about to those supposed to have influence with the higher powers, "are virtually close corporations, which, under a Board of Trustees, in whom the power is legally vested, are really administered by their Professors, who receive the students' fees, and upon whose tact and ability the success of the institutions wholly depends.

      ... Again, a University, apart from its medical teachers, can know little or nothing of the complicated lines of division between medical subjects, or of their relative importance, upon which depend the establishment of Professorships and other offices.

      "But another consideration lies deeper.  A University cannot judge accurately of medical men, in a community where solid scientific eminence and mere notoriety in practice are largely confounded.  ... p. 374

      "If a University desires to secure the services of medical men of competence or eminence, most of whom, in this country, unlike teachers of under-graduates, are engaged in, active business, it will maturely weight the question, ;how it may compensate them,--whether by professional position, wich, if you make it common and cheap, ceases to be desirable,* [*Whose interests are her so carefully looked after?  The students' and that of the University?--Eds.] by entrusting them with discretion and authority, which, if you reduce them to the rank-and-file of tutors, and rule them by a non-medical and comparatively uninstructed interference, they no longer possess,--or by money, which in the higher branches of medical teaching, and in default of other inducements,* [*Had Dr. Bigelow avowed these sentiments years ago, would Harvard University have ever honored him with his present position?--Eds.] must be considerable in amount."* [*Medical Communications of the Massachusetts Medical Society, 1871, p. 236.]

      In view of the above special plea, whose transparency one of the College authorities was the other day commenting to us upon, the University may perhaps see the necessity of "standing between the school and the community, especially the medical community," through whose influence students, if at all, must come, "in satisfying them of the impartial character of the appointments, the conscientious labor of incumbents, and their devotion to the best interests of education,--in short, that the first object of the school is the welfare of the students and the elevation of true medical science, and not the emolument, direct or professional, of its instructors."

      And to do so, let the Overseers apply this excellent advice of Dr. Bigelow's, who elsewhere acknowledges* [*Medical Communications of the Massachusetts Medical Society, 1871, p. 256.] his determined resistance to the changes that they have made, to the case of the Corporation's recommendation of a professorship for the diseases of women, in accordance with last year's vote of the American Medical Association, to which we have already referred. p. 375-376.

      One word more as to this recommendation to the Colleges, by the American Medical Association, of full professorships of the diseases of women.  What we shall say will be found of interest to those who speak and write so flippantly of Medical Education in America,--some may had, so ignorantly of it, if of that education as it exists outside of Boston.

      We have been told that the strongest argument offered by the Faculty in persuading the Overseers to disregard the recommendation of the President and Corporation of the University, in the matter of the proposed professorship of Gynaecology, was that as yet no action in this direction had been taken by the other schools, and that to initiate "such an experiment" would be wholly in advance of the requirements of the age.  How well these gentlemen fo the Faculty must have been posted with regard to the actual state of the case!

      At the time the Gynaecology Society called the attention of the American Medical Association to the importance of the diseases of women, there was hardly a school in the country at which there existed a full professorship of gynaecology, as dissociated from obstetrics so-called, or midwifery; and at scarce another besides the Berkshire had there been given anything like complete and systematic instruction, the course upon gynaecology in that instance having consisted of no less than sixty lectures.

      From the interest thus excited,--for, as well be recollected by those who were at the meeting at New Orleans, the representatives of the schools there present protested, as Dr. Bigelow would still do, so vainly, against what has proved the irresistible power of public opinion,--from that moment there has progressed a rapid and very remarkable change for the better, as we shall now proceed to demonstrate.

      At the present time, no less than fifteen of the medical colleges of the United States, outside of Boston,--and they are among the most respectable in the country withal,--are giving courses upon gynaecology as distinguished from midwifery; and there may be others, of which we have not yet been informed.  Of those whose announcements we have received, there are already six which have full professorships of gynaecology; at eight more, this department constitutes a chair in connection merely with the diseases of children, and at one, there is a clinical lectureship upon the twain, as just now established at Harvard. p. 377-379. 

      [description of schools and naming of their personnel]

      From the above, it would appear that it must have been upon the principle of lucas a non lucendo, that Dr Bigelow so strangely has stated that, "apart from its medical officers, Harvard University can know little or nothing of the complicated lines of division between medical subjects, or of their relative importance, upon which depends the establishment of professorships and other offices."  Such language would seem to imply, in the face of the "unexampled" amount of opposition that is said to have been made by the Faculty to the establishment of this one especial professorship, either a hardly credible ignorance of medical education in America outside of Boston, on the part of the writer, or that he supposed that this was the case with the authorities of the University, at whom his Address was so plainly directed.

      But, it has been asserted by those who think they know, should the Overseers become convinced of the wisdom of the recommendation made by the higher bord, proceed to found the professorship, and elect a man of world-wide reputation,--like Fordyce Barker, or Peaslee, of New York, for instance,--whose very mane would bring a crowd of students, and perhaps even of practitioners, to the school for special instruction, it is possible that some one or more of these protesting professors might resign, in their great indignation.  Supposing, however, so deplorable a circumstance to happen, it is also possible that the University and the outside world might stand the shock.

      But who dreams of the possibility of such a fiasco, even in such an event?  Resignations have been threatened before for similar cause, but they never take place; for such vacancies could be too easily filled.  It was said, not so very long ago, that if Mr. Charles Eliot dared even to suggest any change in the school, however trivial, the whole Faculty as a unit would vacate their places.  They have now been turned topsy-turvy, over and over again, and every man of them, as if for dear life, clings to his chair.

                                 ------------

      Let us turn to a pleasanter theme.  We should be wanting, however, in common politeness, did we fail, in passing, to thank Dr. Bigelow for placing us in possession of the views of the Faculty and their position toward the College Government.  We should not otherwise have felt at liberty to express ourselves as plainly upon the subject, as justice to gynaecoloogy and gynaecologists has now compelled us to do. p. 379-381

      Again there is at hand the hallowed season, when every unkindness and injustice should be put away form the heart, and that true peace rendered possible promised on earth to good-willed men.

      At the close of 1869, and again in 1870, we gave to our friends the month's kindly greeting.  As for our enemies, we said that, willingly, we had none.  In taking leave of 1871, we can but repeat, in all sincerity, those words.

      To the physician, Christmas should come with a peculiarly softening and persuasive poser, for it is he, of all persons, who is brought the nearest to God's deep mysteries, and he, of all, who should recognize most fully the love that underlies the universe, and how near to death is the quickest life.

 [discussion of need of Chicago Women's Hospital because of the fire.]

 

 

 

 

 

Proceedings. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Jan, 1872.

60th Regular Meeting, August 8, 1871. [one paragrph only! only one months from 59th]

61st Regular Meeting, Sept. 26,[!!] 1871.

      At the close of the reading Dr. Bixby remarked, that from a Society like the present, having for one of its avowed purposes the suppression of this deplorable crime, sentiments like those above quoted, coming from so high an authority, must receive the warmest approbation.  Presuming, therefore, upon the support of his fellow-members, he would venture to offer the following resolution:--

      "Resolved, That the Gynaecological Society of Boston has received, with unqualified approval, the charge to the Grand Jury at the Court of General Sessions, by Judge Bedford, of New York, upon the crime of abortion; and as in this great missionary work to which it has pledged its aid, it believes in recognizing, fostering, and encouraging every effort in the right direction, from whatsoever source it may come; that it recognizes in this address the advice of a wise counsellor, the opinion of an eminent jurist, and the sentiments of a good citizen and a Christian gentleman, and would therefore, tender to Judge Bedford its sincere thanks."

      Drs. Weston and Dow both spoke in favor of the resolution.  Having been seconded by Dr. Field, it was unanimously adopted.

 

Editorial Notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Jan, 1872, p. 63-80.

      ... For doing so, we may be anathematized at home, but no more unpleasant things can be said of us than we have heard already.  To offset them, a thousand for every one, we receive thanks from our fellow-practitioners outside this city, and, better still, we preserve our self-respect. p 65.

      We shall present, in a future number fo this journal, Dr. Logan's account of an official midnight journey, in which we accompanied him, through the worst portions of the Chinese quarter of San Francisco.  It was made for the purpose of deciding certain sanitary points, and reporting thereon to the State authorities.  The adventure was in many of its details not unlike the most horrible conceptions of Dante, and we can hardly look back upon it, evennow, after the lapse of many months, without a shudder. p. 70

      Dr. Logan, the Secretary of the [California State] Board [of Health], thus speaks in their General Report, dated November 1, 1871:-- p. 70

      "We believe, also, that there is a great amount of communicable information withheld by the medical profession, which it is their duty to spread abroad and make common for the public good.  Actuated by such considerations we extended an invitation to a physician of Boston, who has made the diseases of women a special study, to deliver a public lecture on 'Female Hygiene,' that would meet all the issues at question.  Many physicians appear to entertain the idea that their knowledge cannot be imparted to the people without infringing upon their obligations to their profession, and that it is better, in fact, that the world should not be possessed of such recondite information as theirs.  We are happy to be able to state that Dr. Storer was influenced by no such obsolete and non-progressive ideas, but cheerfully acceded to our wishes.  His lecture, ..., for more general diffusion, was delivered in May last, both in San Francisco and Sacramento, before appreciative audiences of ladies and gentlemen, and we are gratified to be able to add that it was well received, and is calculated, in our opinion, to redound to the good of the State." p. 72.

 

Proceedings. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Feb. 1872.

62nd Regular Meeting, Oct. 3, 1871. 81-95(6?)

      The Secretary of the Society having resumed the chair from which he had been absent for six months in California, the heartiest welcome was given him by the President and members.

      ... She entered St. Francis' Hospital, and for several months had an intra-uterine application of the acid nitrate by Dr. Warner, half way between the menstrual periods; under this treatment the womb rapidly contracted in size, and its walls became supple and natural.  She was now far advanced in gestation.

      Dr. Warner reminded Dr. Storer of a similar case that he had seen since his return from California.  They had previously attended the case together, and under the use of the acid nitrate, hoping as it were against all grounds for hope, pregnancy had ensued. p. 85-6.

      Dr. Blake was very glad that Dr. Storer had again called attention to the ignorance and conceit which, under the guise of conservatism, so constantly endeavored to underrate the importance and curability of uterine disease.  p. 91

 

"The History and Progress of Gynaecology in New England." The Annual Address for 1872. By Winslow Lewis, President of the Society. [Read before the Society, Jan. 2, 1872] February, 1872, 84-106.

      I commence now, as I did a year since, to say, that my increased sense of propriety warns me most urgently to quit the position which I have occupied for three years.  A year added to seventy-two must betray the infirmities which necessarily accompany that advanced period of life.  Their impress on me is marked and manifested too distinctly to be overlooked, and that I linger with you is due only to those urgent and kindest expressions of yours which still detain me in the chair.

      The position as your President, while it has been very grateful to me, from your kindness, has had its inconveniences and troubles.  It has brought me into a quasi collision with many; and, in one instance, into a rebuke of words, so very acrimonious, that it would not have been tolerated, but from the well-known fact that the attack was made by one of a family belonging to the "genus irritabile."  Living continually "in hot water" does not agree with my constitution; I prefer the more pleasant temperature which soothes and represses the exacerbations of morbid humors and violent eruptions.

      But to more genial themes: to the satisfaction which we, as members of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, are permitted to ... p. 94

      To Dr. Walter Channing, the first Professor of Obstetrics in Harvard University, there is due great praise for having for a long series of years given especial attention to the diagnosis and treatment of uterine disease.  He was, indeed, in many respects, wholly in advance of his time.  While still a very young man, he was called to the Obstetrical Chair, which was made for him virtually by Dr. Jacob Bigelow, to offset the arrangement, for offence and defence, then existing between Drs. James Jackson and John C. Warren.  There then ensued a double alliance.  It was early found, but these four gentlemen, that to combine their forces at any sacrifice, even of personal inclination, was far wiser than to waste their strength in mutual rivalry or conflict. As a consequence, the balance of power was secured, and for nearly fifty years the quartette governed the medical profession of Massachusetts, as with a rod of iron; and even at the present day, with two of them deceased, and the other two fast nearing the inevitable hour, these powers of the past still exercise a baneful influence, in repressing that spirit of independence and self-assertion which should be possessed, in a measure, by every member of a liberal profession, and without which he is no freeman, but the veriest sycophant and slave.

      Dr. Channing, by his appointment at the college and his connection with the Massachusetts General Hospital in its earliest years, was at once placed in a position of boundless opportunity.  The age in which he lived, however, compelled him, as it were, in spite of himself, to become distinguished as an accoucheur, rather than as a gynaecologist.  He will always be remembered with affection by a host of students, and by none more so than those of them who are associated with me in this Gynaecological Society of ours.  His name stands second in our list of Honorary Members; Sir James Simpson, whom he himself revered, alone preceding him in the date of his election.  The one well typified the Gynaecology of America, as did the other that of the world.

      Dr. Channing still lives, at an advanced age, and wholly withdrawn from professional life.

      To us, Bostonians, there are other names, of men still living, in the ripeness of their years, who deserve well of all cultivators of our science.  Their eulogies some younger hand than my own will write, perhaps, after I myself shall live but in your memory.  It is but fitting, however, at the present, that I should say a word of each of them in honorable remembrance.

      Dr D. Humphreys Storer, also one of our Honorary Members,--would that he could have seen it his duty, by a closer affiliation with us by attendance upon our meetings, to have given us, of his large experience, that aid and countenance that every gynaecologist has a right to expect of his elder brethren!--the elder Storer succeeded to Dr. Channing in the Obstetrical Chair of the University.  For many years previously, namely from 1838 to 1854 he had taught, as I have said, in the Tremont Street Medical School; to which, private though it was at first, belongs the proud honor ha having initiated that better and more thorough system of medical instruction, which slowly, and aided by much pressure from without, has at last culminated in the late new birth of the Harvard Medical College.  Dr. Storer, though not a writer, has been always known as a genial, whole-souled man, devoted to his profession, and beloved by his students, and to his influence, more than to that of any other man, has been due the prosperity that the college has of late years enjoyed.  Had it not been for the dastardly treatment to which his son, at the time his class-assistant, was subjected by his associates in the conduct of the school, and which eventuated also in his own withdrawal, Dr. Storer would undoubtedly at the present moment be occupying the chair that he so long honored, and the fulfillment of whose duties he so much enjoyed.

      Dr. Charles G. Putnam, of late quite feeble and seemingly old beyond his years, has enjoyed quite a local reputation here as a gynaecologist, more particularly from his having long been the favorite assistant in practice of Professor Walter Channing.  The introduction to patients, moreover, that he obtained as son-in-law of Dr. James Jackson, might have secured to him, had he been constitutionally fitted for such labors, the largest gynaecological practice in New England.

      Dr. Putnam at one time was associated, by name at least, with Drs. Channing and Storer, Sen., in a card, that for some time appeared in the columns of the "Boston Medical And Surgical Journal."  While setting forth their interest in the diseases of women, the card referred to was undoubtedly intended to lessen the influence of certain professional charlatans.  Whatever personal advantages, however, this publication may have had for the gentlemen named, and however it might be viewed by the rules of the American Medical Association, as at present interpreted, certain it is that it served to attract attention to the importance of uterine disease, and to encourage general practitioners to a greater interest in its treatment.

      To Dr. Gilman Kimball, of Lowell, or Boston, or both,--for, with an office in both places, it may be difficult for us to fix his real domicile,--belongs much more credit than many of his contemporaries have seemed willing to give him.  A pioneer in ovariotomy, or rather I should say, the pioneer of it in New England, he began to practise the operation, at a time when every surgeon's hand was against him, and he has pursued his calling with a pertinacity as creditable to himself as this personal demeanor towards  others has been, at times, unfortunate.  It is to be regretted that the unfriendly relations existing between himself and another Lowell surgeon should have resulted in such rivalry between their respective fee tables, as to have gained for them both an unenviable soubriquet; for such lowering of the due recompense for services rendered is always an injury to every other member of the profession.

      Dr. Kimball was among the earliest appointments to Honorary Membership by this Society, and the compliment had been fairly earned, as I have already intimated, by his long warfare in behalf of the rational treatment of ovarian disease.  The appointment, I am sorry to say, he has never acknowledged.  Dr. Kimball has probably not known that, for his nomination, as also for carry his election in the face of a warm but honest opposition, he was indebted to one whom he had previously seemed to try to injure, our Secretary.

      Dr. E.D. Miller, of the Dorchester District, as one of the older gynaecologists of this neighborhood, deserves also a passing word.  Years ago he shared with Channing and Storer, Sen., the reputation of doing the largest practice among women, in New England; and had he been as inclined as they, or perhaps I should add, as anxious as they, to impart his knowledge to his professional brethren, as becomes every member of a liberal profession, we should have earlier heard of intra-uterine scarification.  One of the great advantages extended to medical men by a Society like our own is the opportunity it affords for mutual instruction and improvement, as is so prominently stated in our Constitution; and it is no less an advantage, that, by direct and frequent personal intercourse, rivalries can be forgotten, and animosities buried.  Therefore, I was grieved that Dr. Miller declined to meet with us, as he was so cordially invited to do, by a resolution, at one of our earliest meetings;  the more so, as the complimentary appointment referred to was made at the instance of the same gentleman to whom I have just alluded, and who we have all of us found as ready always to forgive as to resent an injury, and whom, I believe, I think with you all, to have been foully wronged by those who have represented him as quarrelsome, vindictive and implacable,--our Secretary.[!]  But who of us is there who has not his enemies?p.106-110.

      It would hardly be right for me to speak by name of any of the younger men, still in the flush of their earnestness and influence, who are doing so much among us to establish for gynaecology its rightful place among the departments of medicine.  Almost without a single exception they are members of this Society.  There is not, I am confident, a single one who has not been invited to attend its meetings, and to offer himself as a candidate for its membership.  Can I, however, fail to speak of our "ruling spirit," as he has truthfully been called by those who have opposed this organization, acknowledging, as they have done, by their very fear of him, his power.

      He was practically the first in this country to recognize gynaecology in all its length and breadth, as a distinct department of medicine, I should almost say indeed a distinct science; and while I appreciate all that Sims and a host of others have done to perfect special operations, and to advance our knowledge of certain isolated diseases, I believe that to him, above them all, is owing the present enthusiastic recognition of the diseases of women by the great mass of the American profession.  By his influence at home, and in the National Association, and by those ringing editorial it has always been my delight to endorse,--so long and so convincingly pointing out the necessity of the reform,--it is to him more than to any other man, beside the President of Harvard University, that those masterly changes have been made which have regenerated the Medical School of this city, and have placed it again in advance of all others in America.

      Sooner or later,--patient as ever, he is biding that time,--it will be found that, in the great professional chess-match of our time, it is he that has won.  To me, who have studied that game from its very commencement, it has seemed that this must be impossible, so great were the efforts made to break him down and drive him from the city.[!Must find discussion by the bad guys of this!]  Seeming losses, however, immense though at the time they may appear to be, are sometimes, in the end, but greater gain.

 

 ... and he has pursued his calling with a pertinacity as creditable to himself as his personal demeanor towards others has been, at times, unfortunate. p 107-109.

 

 

Editorial Notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Feb., 1872, p. 141-160.

      Every thoughtful physician has not come to consider systematic intemperance a disease. ... If such responsibility belongs with tapsters and taverners, it belongs also, far too frequently, with medical men.

      As pertinent to this statement, and it will be recollected that we ourselves are in no sense what is termed a "prohibitionist," we may quote the following remarks by Dr. Anstie, of London, which have long been lying upon our table for this especial purpose.  They are from a suggestive paper upon Indiscriminate Stimulation in Chronic Disease, and may be read with profit by certain prominent physicians of this city [Who?]; for there are those here who, a year or two ago, when carried away by the tide of political contest, allowed themselves to testify before a Committee of the State Legislature, upon their oath, that no harm had ever been occasioned, at the hand of the medical profession, by the careless or indiscriminate prescription of alcoholic cordials and stomachics, placeboes, or anodynes. p. 142-3.

      The theory of progressive development, of which so many prate, who of themselves know nothing of Darwin or his views, has been stretched by some, curtailed by others, to meet supposed emergencies of the most opposite character; each reasoner in his turn forgetting that to suppose a gradual evolution of life from a lower to a higher plane is none the less to accept an intelligent and ever-presiding power, than to hold to the successive introduction upon the earth of animal types, each different from their predecessors and perfect in themselves from their beginning. p. 158.

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, February, 1872, p. 81-93.

      The sixty-second regular meeting of the Society was held on the evening of October 3, 1871, at Hotel Pelham, ...

      The Secretary of the Society having resumed the chair from which he had been absent for six months in California, the heartiest welcome was given him by the President and members.

 

Annual Address by Winslow Lewis President of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, February, 1872, p. 94-1??.

      Having thus briefly sketched what has been done since their foundation, by the colleges of New England, towards legitimatizing gynaecology, I may speak of the efforts made in this direction by individual practitioners, a work that for obvious reasons was almost impossible till within a very few years; for, until of late, --indeed, the time has hardly yet passed,--whoever has dared to enter this most important and most interesting of all the departments of medicine and surgery has been under the ban of professional ignorance the most profound, and of professional jealousy the most cruel; qualities that have never shown themselves in such perfection as within the last decade.

      To Dr. Walter Channing, the first Professor of Obstetrics in Harvard University, there is due great praise for having for a long series of years given especial attention to the diagnosis and treatment of uterine disease.  He was indeed, in many respects, wholly in advance of his time.  While still a very young man, he was called to the Obstetrical Chair, which was made for him virtually by Dr. Jacob Bigelow, to offset the arrangement, for offence and defence, then existing between Drs. James Jackson and John C. Warren.  There then ensued a double alliance.  It was early found, by these four gentlemen, that to combine their forces at any sacrifice, even of personal inclination, was far wiser than to waste their strength in mutual rivalry or conflict.  As a consequence, the balance of power was secured, and for nearly fifty tears the quartette governed the medical profession of Massachusetts, as with a rod of iron; and even at the present day, with two of them deceased, and the other two fast nearing the inevitable hour, these powers of the past still exercise a baneful influence, in repressing that spirit of independence and self-assertion which should be possessed, in a measure, by every member of a liberal profession, and without which he is no freeman, but the veriest sycophant and slave.

      ... His [Channing's] name stands second in our list of Honorary Members; Sir James Simpson, whom he himself revered, alone preceding him in the date of his election.  The one well typified the Gynaecology of America, as did the other that of the world.

      Dr. Channing still lives, at an advanced age, and wholly withdrawn from professional life.

      To us, Bostonians, there are other names, of men still living, in the ripeness of their years, who deserve well of all cultivators of our science.  Their eulogies some younger hand that my own will write, perhaps, after I myself shall live but in your memory.  It is but fitting, however, at the present, that I should say a word of each co them in honorable remembrance.

 

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, March, 1872, p. 161-175.

63rd regular meeting.  Oct. 17, 1871.

 

      The Secretary read a communication, addressed to the President, from Dr. Charles T. Jackson, an Honorary Member of the Society, with reference to INTERNATIONAL QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO THE HISTORY OF ANAESTHESIA. p. 164-5.

      "The Chairman of the dinner (Dr. Parks) also made a great mistake when he charged Dr. Simpson with endeavors to steal the honors of the discovery of anaesthetics, and in his statement that Dr. Jacob Bigelow overthrew him. p. 165.

      The Secretary read, on behalf of Dr. Geo. B. Cox, of Tullahoma, Tenn., the report of a case of reflex insanity benefited by local treatment. [Dr. Cox's communication was published in the Journal of the Society for December, 1871.]

      Dr. Blake related a case of vulval eczema, attended by persistence of the hymen after marriage.  He had found the hymen present, thought the patient had been twenty years married, and so firm as to prevent the tip of the finger from entering.  The husband had always been satisfied with his wife's condition, and she herself was ignorant that it was in any respect an unusual one.  In reply to a question as to whether the husband himself was in a normal condition, Dr. Blake replied that he had not investigated this question. p. 172.

      Dr. Storer called attention to the great distress with which several of the Honorary and Corresponding Members of the Society, residents of Chicago, had been visited in consequence of the late destruction of a portion of that city by fire, and moved the passage of resolutions conveying sympathy of the Society to the sufferers.p. 173

      Upon motion of Dr. Storer, seconded by Dr. Wheeler, the thanks of the Society were voted to the President and Corporation of Harvard University for the wise and persistent energy with which they have of late examined into, remodelled, and infused with new life the Medical School under their charge, together with the expression of the hope, on the part of the Society, that such further changes may from time to time be made, as may be necessary to bring the school up to the standard recommended for several years past by the American Medical Association.

      Dr. Storer stated to the Society the action of the American Medical Association, at its meeting in California, with reference to the so-called Protest of the Councillors of the Massachusetts Medical Society, which was much more than a covert attempt to bring the Gynaecological Society into disrepute.  The Protest was referred by the Association to its Committee upon Ethics, and these gentlemen reported unanimously that "inasmuch as there is nothing in the paper, or accompanying it, showing that it had either been submitted to, or approved by, the Massachusetts Medical Society; and inasmuch as this Association has no knowledge of any organization called the 'Councillors' of that Society, your committee do not deem it necessary to recommend any action concerning such protest."  It was, therefore, laid upon the table.* [*Transactions of the American Medical Association, vol. XXII. 1871, p. 30.

      A recent circular of the Councillors, a copy of which Dr. Storer now presented, showed how completely they appreciated their discomfiture, and that they evidently had begun to recognize their true position, which was one of subordination to the Fellows of the Society at large. [Get this circular?]

      Adjourned. p 174-5.

 

"The Differential Diagnosis of Anal Fistula in Women, more particularly with reference to Discovering the Inner Orifice where such exists." Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, March, 1872, 182-194.

      Note by Dr. Storer, (March, 1872.)--It will have been noticed that the preceding paper was written and read to the Society two years since, and that much of its reasoning is especially applicable to the treatment of anal fistula by the knife, as ordinarily employed.  Since that time, a reputable member of the profession in this city, Dr. John P. Ordway, has ventured to test, upon a large and thorough scale, a method of procedure which seems previously to have been employed exclusively, or almost so, by irregular practitioners, and to systematically endeavor to cure even the most inveterate and extensive fistulas without the use of strictly surgical measures.  In this he seem to have been very generally successful, to such an extent at any rate as to lead us to believe that his method of treatment is worthy much more attention from the profession that it has yet received.  Dr. Ordway's plan of treating fistulae has already been incidentally, but very briefly, described in former numbers of this Journal. [April, 1870, p. 244; July, 1870, p. 19; and Sept. 1870. p. 168]  We hope that ere long we may be able to present our readers with an article upon the subject, with the details of cases, from his own pen.[Ordway was antagonist over Ellis incident.]

 

Editorial Notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, March, 1872, p. 226-240.

      We had supposed that certain by-gones here at home were to be such in reality, and that the State Society was not more to be disturbed by those whose yoke it had, by repeated and unmistakable votes, thrown off.

      It seems however, that one more campaign is needed, and this time (D.V.[?]) it will not be our fault if we do not obtain permanent peace.

      We have before us at the present moment a paper entitled "District Societies, their Purpose, Power and Limitations,"* [Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, January 25, 1872, p. 49.] written by one of the so-called Councillors of the State Society, Dr. Cotting, of Boston Highlands, whom every one had imagined to have been rendered so dizzy by his late "backward somersault,"*[*See this Journal, November, 1871, p. 308.] at the order of the American Medical Association, as to hold his peace at least for the present year.

      The paper to which we refer is a labored defence of the powers of the Councillors of the society as against the rights of the District Societies, and the paramount authority of the National Association.  It displays throughout that peculiar "forgetfulness," as we have termed a local malady, apparently confined to a limited district hereabouts, and it requires the same remedy that has been found so efficacious in former instances of the disease. p. 226.

      The action of the American Medical Association upon receiving the bombastic* [*Gentlemen at home may imagine the derision that language like the following excited at San Francisco: "The Massachusetts Medical Society (i.e., the Councillors) would repeat that it does not appear as a suppliant, and it asks no favors.  It will continue to labor, as it has done for nearly a century, to promote, as far as it is aboe (by improperly discriminating between applicants for admission and by retaining irregular practitioners in fellowship?) the interests of medical education and medical science.  Whether the work shall henceforth be done in connection with the American Medical Association, or independently of it, remains with your honorable body to decide." -- Protest, etc., Medical Communications of Massachusetts Medical Society, 1871, p. 209.] protest of the Councillors will not, moreover, have been forgotten.  It voted in general session that -- a paper having been presented to the Association "purporting to be a protest of the 'Councillors of the Massachusetts Medical Society' against the action of this Association at its last annual session, -- inasmuch as there is nothing int the paper, or accompanying it, showing that it had been either submitted to, or approved by, the Massachusetts Medical Society, and inasmuch as this Association has no knowledge of any organization called the 'Councillors' of that Society," it was unnecessary to take "any action concerning such protest."* [*Transactions of the American Medical Association, 1871, Vol. XXII, p. 30.] p. 227-8.

      The third of the flings at the American Medical Association in which Eastern Massachusetts has recently indulged, remains to be considered.  That it occurred is not prerhaps to be wondered at in the light of the enforced changes that have been made at the Medical School of the University, and the as great a revolution that is now progressing within the Massachusetts Medical Society; but the temper, the rebellious tone, the intense bitterness of its language are all the more noteworthy as coming from one whom we have been accustomed to consider a perfect master of self-control, and of that most difficult of all arts to acquire,-- the never seeming conscious of defeat.

[Long Bigelow communication follows] p. 231.

      We do not know which to admire most in the above extract, its refreshing plainness of speech or the adroitness with which the reference to the power, not merely asserted but at last so successfully exercised, of the American Medical Association to raise the standard of medical education, was found a place for in the address.  It is, we find, the opinion of not a few that the address, upon "Medical Education in America,: or more properly, "Utility in Medical Education," as it seems first to have been termed, was written for the very purpose of making this covert argument to the Massachusetts Medical Society in favor of revolt against the National code.

      Our distant readers will learn with surprise that the gentleman of who we are speaking is the same who, but a few years ago, was exalting in such glowing language the authority of the National Association, and promising to it his own unswerving devotion.  They will recognize the extracts we now give from his speech upon the occasion to which we refer, and they will not fail to remark his present extraordinary change of base.

      In 1865, as chairman of the Committee of Arrangements, Dr. Bigelow welcomed the Association to Boston, and he said: "it is for us to consider whether we cannot do something to render the American Medical Association a more efficient and a more productive institution.  No one can doubt that the medical science of this country, now ostensibly represented in this body, is destined one day to occupy a very high place in the medical history of the world.  ... p 234-5.

      In view of the above bit of history, we say, as once before,* [*See this Journal, November, 1870, p. 327.] that now that peace has been restored throughout the land, it comes with a very ill grace from Massachusetts to preach secession from the Union.

                                   --------

      In view of the face of the facts that we have narrated, what is to be the cure?  A very simple and efficient one.

      The limits of the conspiracy that exists in Massachusetts to bread down and defy the authority of the American Medical Association are strictly defined, and its members well-known.  Simply to brand these gentlemen with infamy is not sufficient.  Their power to do evil in the future must now be taken from them, once and for all.

      But is the profession in this State ready to apply so sweeping and so efficatious a remedy?  Has it at last the courage thus to assert its right?  We reply that we believe that it has the courage, and is ready to do so.  Of this there are many and wide-spread proofs.

      The President of the State Society, Dr. Fisk, of Northampton, admitted the fact in his address at the annual dinner last year. p. 236-7.

      His townsman, Dr. Oscar DeWolf, one of the Councillors themselves, had expressed an opinion the day before even more to the point.  "If," said this gentleman, "the execution of the proposed resolutions be not easy and practicable, then is our organization faulty; and if the authority cannot be had to protect the Society from such wrong, then it had best be broken up and a new organization formed."* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, June 15, 1871. [/ 400.] f[ 237-8.

      What is needed is to abolish the Board of Councillors.  All the authority that these persons have ever had, or have claimed to have, could only come from the Fellows of the Society at large.  The Fellows in general session have, by their charter, the same right to take back to themselves, that they had to confer, this delegated trust.

      A simple and efficient form of constitution and by-laws, covering every point that is required, has already been prepared and published to the profession,* [*The Physician's Annual for 1872.  Philadelphia: S. W. Butler, publisher, p. 42.] and it is probably before this in the hand of most of the Fellows of the Massachusetts Society.  There is good reason to believe that, by vote of the National Association at its next meeting, it will be recommended for adoption to all the State Societies in the country.

      This old know, like others that pettifoggers spent so many years in tying, it will take but a very few moments to loose.  Wholly out of the province of lawyers, it will yield as by magic to the irresistible force of the national public opinion. p. 238-9.

      As will be seen by the notice which we present elsewhere, [where?] the session of the American Medical Association for the present year will be held at Philadelphia, in May next, commencing upon the seventh of the month.  There is reason to believe that the meeting will be the most influential yet held, and w trust that the largest proportionate attendance from any State will be from Massachusetts. [what happened?] No physician can thus put himself in direct personal contact with his brethren from distant parts of the country, without a consciousness of the utter provinciality of his dearest local views and surroundings, as compared with what is for the advantage and best interests of all. He would come form the annual meeting of the National Association to that of his own State Society, with the determination to sweep away everything, however it might have seemed legitimatized by time, that was at variance with justice, sound sense, and a reasonable progress.

      Dr. L.F. Warner, of Boston, an old member of the Association, and one of the active members of the Gynaecological Society, has been appointed by the Permanent Secretary the local committee for this section, to obtain reduced rates of fare, etc., for the delegates.  Notice will be given in the next number of this Journal of such arrangements as it may have been found possible to make. p. 240.

 

      The seventy-fourth regular meeting of the Society was held on April 2, 1872.  Present, Drs. Warner, Bixby, Cutter, Martin, Blake, Greeley, Field, Hazelton, Hunt, Keniston and H. R. Storer.  In the absence of the President, Dr. Warner was called to the chair. [HRS may have been able to attend though ill because it was at Hotel Pelham where he lived.]

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, April, 1872.

      The sixty-fourth regular meeting of the Society was held on November 7, 1871, at Hotel Pelham, the President in the chair.  Present, Drs. Lewis, Warner, Hazelton, Weston, Dow, Perkins, Bixby, and H. R. Storer; and Dr. F. G. Jordan, of St. John, N.B., Corresponding Member.  p. 241

      Dr. Bixby detailed [another] case of reflex deafness, dependent upon suppression of the catamenia, that he had seen with dr. Martin. p. 243.

      Dr. Warner suggested to Dr. Blake, in this connection, that by his own showing he should employ chloroform, as it was less nauseating than ether.

      Dr. Blake replied that he would never give chloroform in any event whatever.  Gentlemen in this city had pronounced it an improper agent, and this being the case, he did not think he would employ it even to save the life of a patient. [!!]

      Dr. Storer asked if Dr. Blake's antipathy to chloroform was from any personal experience of its use.

      Dr. Blake replied, not at all, for he had never employed it in a single case. p. 250.

      Dr. Storer remarked that as gentlemen had now expressed their opinions upon the question of local, as against general anaesthesia in ovariotomy, he would proceed to read the following telegram, whch he had received just previous to the meeting: [not nice HRS!]

            "Louisville, Ky., Nov. 7, 1871.

      "Have to-day performed ovariotomy without anaesthesia, most satisfactorily to all.

                  W. H. Newman." p. 251-2.

      ... He could say one thing, however, with much satisfaction, -- that he had never, since entering practice, lost a surgical case, whatever the character of the operation, that he had not reported it, with as much exactness as possible, to one or another of the Societies with which he was connected.  As to his faithfulness to the profession in this respect, during the years since the Gynaecological Society was established, the pages of its Journal would bear witness.  He had always considered it a great loss to science that surgeons so often hesitated to acknowledge and publish their unsuccessful cases.   p. 254.

      Dr. Blake said that the case had occurred in the service of his colleague, Dr. Fifield.  The operation had bed fair to be successful, but the patient had been lost on the sixth day, from pneumonia.

      Dr. Storer regretted to learn that such a disappointment had occurred when success seemed so near.  He should be delighted when the tide of ill-luck, which had attended upon every case of ovariotomy, thus far operated upon at the Massachusetts General and City Hospitals, should at last be turned. p. 261

      Dr. Warner remarked that the only drawback to his satisfaction in this case, had been the exhibition of the petty, miserable, dog-in-the-manger sort of spirit that had been displayed by his predecessors in its charge.  When summoned to see the patient, he had called upon Dr. P.P. Ingalls, although informed that he had been discharged, and had desired that he should resume charge of the case, telling him at the same time its true character, and that he would have but little trouble in obtaining convalescence.  That gentleman, however, though treating him very civilly at the time, had declined to do this, apparently feeling that there could be no appeal from the dictum of the  distinguished professor, Dr. Calvin Ellis, who had so emphatically condemned the patient.  The circumstances of the whole affair were not very unlike those of an East Cambridge case he had already reported to the Society,* [See this Journal, September, 1871, p. 151] wherein a self-sufficient practitioner of Middlesex county, Dr. Morrill Wyman, had brought himself to ridicule by his unprofessional conduct towards those whom some were kind enough to stigmatize as "petticoat doctors."[!] p. 270-1.

Fifteenth special meeting, March 9, 1872.

      At the seventieth regular meeting of the Society, held on February 6, 1872, a discussion was had upon THE PROPRIETY OF VACCINATING PREGNANT WOMEN.

      St the seventy-second regular meeting, held on March 5, 1872, the subject of ANIMAL VACCINATION was brought up, and there being doubts expressed as to whether its real character, as compared with ordinary vaccination, was generally understood, it was voted to hold a special meeting for the purpose of practically investigating the subject.

      In accordance with the above vote, the fifteenth special meeting of the Society was held on March 9, 1872, at 3 P. M., at Boston Highlands, at the house of Dr. Henry A. Martin, an active member of the Society.  ...

      The President, Dr. Lewis, having sailed for Europe, Dr. Perkins was called to the Chair. p. 272.

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, May, 1872, p. 321-335.

65th regular meeting, November 21, 1871

      Dr. Storer considered the case a very interesting and instructive one, and that great credit was dude to Dr. Luce for having so faithfully reported. it.  The conclusion to which he had come, never to base a diagnosis upon another's opinion, was the most important lesson a gynaecologist could ever learn. p. 327

      Dr. Storer exhibited a photograph illustrative of the physiques of Indian females he had seen in Utah. p 332.

 

"The Gynaecological Cabinet of Harvard University." Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston. May, 1872, 357-36?. Toner, p.14.

      Meanwhile, by letter of 24 January ult.,[does this mean 1871?] I have requested Dr. Jackson to furnish me with a list of the gynaecological specimens in the Society's cabinet, that I might present it also side by side with that of the college.  Devoted as he is presumed to be to the welfare of the medical school, he could not well refuse to accede to so reasonable request, but as I have not yet heard from him, I am compelled to employ the list published in 1847, which can hardly, however, be supposed to represent the exact present condition of the cabinet.  I would not willingly do injustice, and regret that more complete material has not been furnished me.  Should it be done during the coming month, I will with pleasure publish in my next chapter any additional notes, which, if I had had them would have appeared at the present time. [Why no Jackson response?  Wasn't he a friend?]

      I would say, in passing, that there is observable in the "Descriptive Catalogue of the Warren Museum," issued officially, as it would seem to have been from the wording of its title-page,*[*Harvard University.  A Descriptive Catalogue of the Warren Anatomical Museum, 1870. Boston, A. Williams & Co.] a certain forgetfulness which of course must have been unintended.  References are made throughout the volume to "The Hospital Records," "The Medical Journal," and "The Medical Society." "it being understood that the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal (and the Medical Improvement Society,) are referred to, unless otherwise expressed."  It is hardly worth while to state that there was a second medical journal in this city, firmly established, at the time that the Catalogue appeared; but that Dr. Jackson should have spoken as though there existed here but a single General Hospital and but a single Medical Society, might surprise those who are not aware that the two institutions referred to, used to be thought by some, identical with Harvard University. p 358-9.

 

Editorial Notes. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, May, 1872, p. 393-400.

      "Injudicious," as it was applied seventeen years ago to an article we published the month before last, [March, 1872, p. 194] is a word the true meaning of which we all understand.  Does not, however, its use in such cases react with terrible force upon those who thus block the wheels of progress?

      See what the effects have been in the present instance.  A college instructor sums up the result of thirty years' thoughtful observation, and finds that he has discovered the cause, before unknown, of a vast deal of disease and suffering.  It is a matter affecting the welfare of the whole community, and clearly within the province of medical men.  He is called upon to publicly discourse to a graduating [?] class and to the profession, and, full of enthusiasm, he takes this occasion to announce to the world his inspired conclusions.  Then fell the wet blanket--he has told our readers the rest.

      The cool assurance of Dr. H. J. Bigelow, [Apparently HJB to blame for DHS not publishing full Lecture?] or rather his "injudiciousness,"--recollect that it is we ourselves that are now speaking and not the gentleman who has so patiently preserved silence for these long years, lest he might seem by word or deed injure the school he used so to love,--Dr. B's course was only equalled by that of a prominent officer of the Massachusetts Medical Society towards Dr. Bowditch, at the time that this gentleman first announced, in the annual address for 1862, that new law in the causation and development of consumption, which has given, we may reasonable hope, a clue to the mastery of this terrible disease.  Dr. Bowditch was told that it would be "injudicious" to publish his views as plainly as they were spoken--that it would be well enough to print them in smaller type as a mere appendix to the address, but that he should only present in a form to catch the eye the comparative platitudes with which men ordinarily commence and end a public lecture,--husks, as it were, that may or may not enclose something of value.  As was to have been expected, Dr. Bowditch replied, "Either print my address as it was delivered, or not at all!"  It was accordingly published in a proper manner.* [*Medical Communications of the Massachusetts Medical Society, 1862, p. 59.]

      At the time that the leaven of the senior Storer's lecture was so dexterously stolen from it, there were editors here, Drs. Wm. W. Morland and Francis Minot, who expressed their regret in appropriate terms.* [*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, December 13, 1855, p. 409.]  The importance of the points that were made in 1855, though they were then suppressed, is now everywhere recognized by medical men.  In our own publications upon these subjects, we have from the commencement acknowledged [chirurgical review, Transactions AMA] our indebtedness to the elder S. for the first suggestion of the ideas [How about Hugh Hodge?  Was there a 2-way street where HRS influenced DHS??  Was this one-way?]that, in one way and another, we have endeavored to still further develop--the detrimental effect upon the physical health of women, of criminal abortion and of incompleted intercourse,--and from the outset we have urged upon him to publish the paper that after all these years now sees the light.  We felt that the silence of the profession with regard to these unphysiological practices, that were fast becoming universal, would be interpreted by the community as a tacit approval--"an abetment" indeed of the crimes "by medical men,"--and, in a paper with the title just quoted, read before the Massachusetts Medical Society at its annual meeting in 1866, we used the following language:--

      "as to the physical evils of forced abortions and of the prevention of pregnancy, no one who is at all devoted to the study or treatment of the diseases of women can have failed to perceive them, and yet scarce an author has dared to approach this subject.  Not a word upon it is said by Whitheead, the best English authority upon abortion and sterility; not a word by Gardner [In 1960 Knickerbocker articles Gardner wrote ... it is not only a moral evil, but a physical wrong.  The health of the mother suffers materially from the violence done to her system, and from the shock to her nervous sense.  Whether it is effected by powerful drugs or by mechanical and instrumental interference, the result is deleterious to the animal economy.  HRS refers to this article in his "Female Hygiene."  Why does he say this, or is this from one of the other editors?  The "my father' statement below suggests not.], of New York, the best American systematic writer upon the latter topic, and it has not been referred to by Marion Sims, in his work just published.  The evils alluded to seem to have first been distinctly pointed out to the profession by my father in 1855 [Hodge emphasized the terrible crime of killing the fetus.], in an Introductory Address, delivered to the class at Harvard Medical College; and yet such was the fear of the faculty at that time lest the facts in the case had been misobserved, or lest erroneous conclusions had been deduced from them, or lest their avowal might prejudice the school in the eyes of the community, that they [Who?] urged upon their lecturer the suppression of the very pith and marrow of his address.  I am sorry to say that the gentlemen [DHS talks about a single dissuader] carried their point, but I know that the concession was only one of courtesy, and by no means one of conviction.  If our alma mater, in any of her provinces, ever fears to allow truth to be spoken, she is recreant both Christ et Ecclesiae and to all her old traditions, and one at least of her sons will not hesitate to upbraid her for violating the ethics she herself has taught him."* [*New York Medical Journal, September 1866, p. 424.]

      But let by-gones be by-gones.  One of the topics indicated, that of the physical detriment to the female of uncompleted intercourse, is still comparatively fresh to the profession.  We shall therefore call attention to two recent publications, whose perusal will well repay our readers.  The first of them is a clinical lecture upon "Conjugal Onanism and other Sins," by Dr. William Goodell of the University of Pennsylvania,*[*Philadelphia Medical Times, February 1, 1872, p. 161.] which strikes squarely home at those over-conservative physicians who will not heed the teachings of modern gynaecology.

      The second of the articles [discussion of recommendations by a French ecclesiastic that the Roman Church stop fighting birth control]  ...to render the marriage bed unfruitful; in other words, he recommends the Council to do its best to encourage a return to the state of social morals so ruthlessly satirized by a heathen poet some eighteen centuries ago:--

"'Sed jacet aurato vix ulla puerpera lecto,

Tantum artes hujus tantum medicamina possunt

Que steriles facit atque homines in ventre necandos conducit.'* [*Juvenal, St. 6.] p. 397.

      We have reproduced the above in no unfriendly spirit towards theologians, but that the medical profession may judge to what a frightful extent the great cause of uterine disease that Dr. Storer, senior, first point out as such, is now playing its part in the disorganization, physical as well as spiritual, of the world.

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, June, 1872, p. 401-.

66th regular meeting, December 5, 1871

      ... If you believe, as I most certainly do, that spontaneous combustion will take place from the decomposition of the menstrual fluid, let it be generally known." p. 419.

      Dr. Storer remarked, apropos to what had been said regarding gynaecological matters in New York, that his own obseration hadled him to an opinion he had often taken occasion to express, that probably no surgeon now living could compare with Dr. Emmet in the operation for vesico-vaginal fistual. p. 424.

 

Gynecological Summary  Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, June, 1872, p. 47?-480

      At the meeting of the Philadelphia Obstetrical Society, Dec. 1, 1871, the following discussion was held by Dr. Goodell and Robert Harris, upon the latter's paper upon early puberty.

      "Dr. Wm. Goodell remarked upon this paper, that, from an extended experience acquired by a residence of many years in Constantinople, he was still disposed to attribute the precocious menstruation, which undoubtedly existed in warm latitudes, not so much to the influence of climate, (as affirmed by Haller and Montesquieu) nor to family peculiarity and race, (as Roberton contends) but to the licentious practices of the inhabitants.  p 479-480.

 

"female Hygiene."  A Lecture delivered in the Capitol at Sacramento, and repeated at San Francisco, by request of the State Board of Health of California.  First Biennial Report of California State Board of Health, 1871. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, June, 1872, Appendix.  Toner, p.13-14.

      To a tired man, just preparing for a month's respite from constant and harassing care, by crowding that month's work in advance into the busy weeks preceding it, there came most unexpectedly Dr. Logaon's kind request to add an Alp to the already too heavy burden.  The very idea of preparing for dilivery, under the auspices of the California State Board of Health, a lecture upon Female Hygiene in any way worthy the intrinsic importance of the subject, seemed like raising for the traveller a far more impassable barrier betwixt Boston and Sacramento than would once have been the dizzy heights, the floods, the wilderness, that intervene. p. 1.

      And again, granting that the influence of the old times was not wholly lost, when, in the scarcity of women here, a stray bonnet or slipper is said to have been publicly worshipped, and when the overland journey or the trip around the Horn was attended by peculiar danger to a woman's good name, and that a dozen years ago your State was still a frontier country, and under circumstances in many respects exceptional; it was not, however, so very much more so than many distant or isolated portions of the Union at the present time.  I happen to be familiar, from personal study upon the spot, with the diseases of woman as they prevail in several parts of the British Provinces and in our extreme South-west,[When? Where? Was Colorado extreme?] and am constantly seeing patients from other parts of the country, very many of them sent by physicians with whose own experience, as detailed to me in person or by letter, I am also acquainted.  From these data, again, I am forced to the same result.  You may have here in California an undue preponderance of deaths in men from aneurism,--you may have still, as in your earlier history, more than your share of fatal wounds,--but I cannot grant, as regards the morality of your women, unless I count those poor creatures from across the sea, inaptly termed "celestials," that they are one whit worse, at least so far as one can judge by the character of their diseases, that their puritan Eastern cousins. p. 6-7.

      It were foolish to say that these are topics too abstruse for study, too sacred for discussion.  If they [woman's constant series of life changes] were better understood, far more infants would be born living,--and I here put aside all cases of criminal interference, which, according to evidence adduced by the President of your State Board of Health, Dr. Gibbons of San Francisco, is probably now as prevalent in California as in the Eastern States; far more children, especially girls, would be reared to maturity; far more women live to old age; far more marriages be happy; far fewer excuses or temptations exist for divorce.  ... p. 7-8.

      ... [in men] the lungs perform weekly, monthly and yearly, a certain average of work,--in woman the case is very different; there being with her what has been termed an accessory respiratory organ, one of whose duties it is to serve at regular intervals as an outlet of the carbonaceous waste, which during the intervening periods, in the main disposed of by the lungs; [Where did HRS get this notion? Simpson?] p. 8-9.

We constantly see pelvic mistaken for intestinal inflammation, uterine fibroids for impacted scybala, and so forth, simply for the reason that the necessary measure of physical examination had not been resorted to, a neglect which, in affection of any other part of the body, would be, by ordinarily good physicians, pronounced malpractice. p. 11.

      The sewing machine, that compound of blessing and curse to woman, adds to the list of influences causative of disease, not only acting in several of the ways suggested, by the long-continued and constrained position and fatiguing of the pelvic muscles, but in another, not generally sufficiently appreciated, by which a mental and dangerous disquietude is originated and enhanced by the unintentional auto-stupration.

      There are [disease] causes, however, beyond and above these, recognized, a part of them, by a few who have seldom dared to breathe above a whisper what they yet know to exist.  Several of them have been referred to by another authority, in an article remarkable for the boldness with which it was presented to the community, and its plain language.* [*Knickerbocker Magazine, January, 1860.] [Physical Decline of American Women, Augustus, K. Gardner, M.D., p. 37-52.--Find out what relationship existed with Augustus K. Gardner.] Every word of the following extracts from the Knickerbocker Magazine" will be acknowledged to be true.  The writer is first speaking of the diseases of women resulting from criminal abortion,--and offense to whose study and prevention I have myself given a great deal of attention: p. 13.

      The same unsparing hand points to the frequency and evil consequences of a certain selfish habit in women ...  while itself often the result of some sympathetic neighboring physical excitation, and so not a vice, yet an important element in the causation of other local disease.  Unattended by the special source of exhaustion accompanying the habit in the male, it induces nervous irritation rather than prostration, attaining often an intensity of indulgence undreamed of by anxious friends or the attending physician. p. 14.

      ... and while an increasing self-control in the masses has practically subjected Venus to Minerva, and while the restlessness of the age has endeavored to introduce into public and private life a third sex, that of masculine women,--there are causes still effective in inducing ill-health in our women which have been only indicated, and never as yet carefully studies.  Such are long betrothals, ... the too prevalent custom of avoiding lactation, lest it interfere with the requirements of fashion; ... The delicate girls that at puberty were mown down by phthisis as grass before the scythe, now many of them live to become wives and mothers, in their turn begetting frail and invalid offspring. p. 15.

      Come now to the physician [already covered were judge, clergyman and insurer against death] for his opinion; and if he be a thoughtful man, who believes that in order to remove the effects of a cause you must reach that cause itself, you will gain from him some useful hints.

      Childbirth, he would tell you, should always be attended by the most competent nurse and the most skillful physician that can be obtained. ...

      An anaesthetic, he would say again, goes far in childbed, when properly given, to increase the safety of both mother and child, as does also, afterwards the process of suckling.  Turning the breasts for a few months to their appointed use relieves organs long furnished with an excessive supply of blood, and lessens many a chance of subsequent ill-health and disease.

      Infants, you would be told, should be allowed a certain amount of air and exercise.  If treated at first more like animals and less like reasoning creatures, the mother's pride might suffer, but it would be more than compensated by a lasting joy in after years.

      Girls, little and great, should be far more educated in body than a present, far less in mind.  Proud, as every New Englander, of our system of common schools, I yet believe and acknowledge that many a delicate girl has been utterly ruined in body and mind by the mental overwork to which she has been subjected.  Ambitious, for that runs in the New England blood; quick of perception, for that's a quality that comes from its clear atmosphere; spurred ever to attempt beyond one's strength, for such is the effect of our unrestful life, which must have the experience, bitter and sweet, of an old-fashioned year in each twenty-four hours,--is it a wonder that they early bloom and early fade, so many of them grown women at sixteen, old women at forty, wishing themselves out of the world at the very age life ought to be most comfortable at? [Was this Emily Elvira?]

      I do not here exaggerate.  Study of this matter, as a member of the Boston School Committee in former years, [When?  What happened? His uncle Thomas Mayo Brewer "was always interested in the cause of public education and was an active member of the Boston School Committee from 1844 until his death." Charles Eliot: 1854 "Yesterday I received a notification that I had been chosen into the Primary School Committee... Each member of the Committee has a school to look after--"] led me to suspect what since then, in practice, I have constantly found to be true.  And as for the teachers of these school maidens, a very large proportion of them early find themselves invalids, with overstrained nervous systems and frail bodies, which act and react abnormally, the one upon the other.  To stimulate a girl's brain to the utmost, during the access of puberty, is a positive loss to the State.  There's likely to one less healthful parent of a sound and vigorous offspring.

      I shall not discuss the question of whether girls should best be educated at home or away; at boarding schools, academies, seminaries, colleges, or whatever the title of their distant place of abode.  In some respects the same points would be found to obtain as with that other education which takes these tenderlings from the mother's watchful protection, to the mill, the shop, or the service of strangers.  The hygienic risks and those to morality are, in number and importance, nearly equal in both cases; they are but too apt to go hand in hand.  The terrible instincts, that a chance word or look may awake into activity, never again to be put at rest,--which, for the world's good, cause yet its greatest dangers,--are there always and everywhere.  Happy she who, till the day of her change of name, never becomes conscious of their existence. p. 17-18.

      ...

      You have close at hand, in the territory so near--the gynaecological peculiarities of which I have just come to you from studying--the old social problem that so vexed the students of Female Hygiene in David's time.  [Find papers or letters dealing with this 1871 visit and Mormon study.]  And yet, the openly avowed concubinage of Utah scarcely differs in some respects from that stealthily indulged in by a certain proportion of every civilized people that ever existed since the world began.  ... Each state has, in its way, its mental frets, its physical ills; each in its way furnishes material for the profoundest study to the medical scientist.

      Gymnastics, ...  Dress, ... Enforced position, long continued ... Horseback riding, ...  Sea-bathing, ...  The voluptuous warm bath may cause, indulged too frequently or incautiously, as perfect ruin to the health as slavery to opium or alcohol; ...

      But let me stop here, for I fear that I may uncover miseries that perhaps were better hid, at least till the community more fully appreciate the value of what they already but partially know concerning Female Hygiene.  Before they can do this, men must first value, better than ever yet has been done, woman herself.  Not as a voter; her best franchise is through that of her husband.  Has she none?  Few women on earth, whether young or old, who may not marry, and marry well, if they but live a perfectly beautiful, loveable life. p. 16-19.

 

Augustus Kinglsey Gardner, physician, born in Roxbury, Mass., 13 July, 1812; d. in New York city, 7 April 1876, was graduated in medicine at Harvard in 1844.  He then visited Europe, and studied three years.  Returning to the United States, he established himself in New York, and was elected professor of diseases of women and children, and of midwifery, in the New York medical college.  Dr. Gardner gave special attention to the importation of foreign birds, as destroyers of insect larvae, to the establishment of drinking-fountains in New York city; to the reformation of the established code of medical ethics; and the investigation of the swill-milk business.  He was the first physician in the United States that gave chloroform in labor, and practised it successfully while professor of midwifery in the New York medical college.  In consequence of a consultation with a homeopathic physician, he had a rupture with the Academy of physicians, and resigned.  He is the author of "Hours of a Medical Student in Paris" (New York, 1848); "Causes and Treatment of Sterility" (1850); "Our Children" (Hartford, 1872); and "translation of Scanzoni's Diseases of Females."  He edited Tyler Smith's "Lectures," and contributed many professional and scientific papers to current literature. p 598  ApCAB

 

Proceedings of the Society. Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, July, 1872, p. 1-.

67th regular meeting, December 19, 1871

68th regular (annual) meeting, January 2, 1871

      The Special Order of Business for the Annual meeting, being now taken up, the President, Dr. Winslow Lewis, delivered the Annual Address for 1872.  It was upon THE HISTORY AND PROGRESS OF GYNAECOLOGY OF NEW ENGLAND, and elicited many expressions of approval. [!] p. 12.

      The Secretary presented, in behalf of Dr. A. L. Norris of East Cambridge, Mass., a communication descriptive of a CASE OF OVARIOTOMY BY PROF. FREUND, OF BRESLAU, written by Miss Mary J. Saffort, of Chicago.

      Dr. Weston inquired if this lady were not a female physician.

      The Secretary replied, that, judging from Dr. Norris's letter, he presumed this to be the case.  He had previously heard of her as a medical student.

      Dr. Weston stated, that he hen must object to the paper being received by the Society.

      Dr. Hazelton regretted that it had been presented by Dr. Norris.  He was ot quite clear in his own mind what course ought to be pursued under the circumstances.  He desired to be courteous and fair, though he believed fully in the views already expressed by the Society, that women physicians carried within themselves an inherent physiological weakness which sooner or later would decide the question of their fitness to practise medicine against them.  He was for taking the course which would earliest make this fact apparent ot the community, and he was not quite sure whether restriction or the largest license would best have the effect.  Not believing that the average of competency of female practitioners could compare with that of male physicians, he was willing to admit this paper to discussion by the Society, provided their final acceptance were decided solely upon their intrinsic merits. p. 13.

      ... When papers were of great importance to the profession, or of unusual intrinsic interest, they were given prominence and separate places in the Society's Journal, otherwise they appeared as a portion of the report of its proceedings.

      Dr. Greeley considered that the latter would be the proper method in the present instance.  He would move therefore, that the paper be incorporated with the proceedings of the present meeting, and that the editors of the Society's Journal be directed to use their own discretion, as to publishing it in extenso or merely an abstract.

      The motion was seconded by Dr. Hazelton, and unanimously passed.

      The following is Miss Saffort's paper in full.  It is entitled INDICATIONS FOR OVARIOTOMY. P. 15-16.

 

Editorial Note.[singular] Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, July, 1872, p. 80.

      It affords us great pleasure to announce the progressing convalescence of our colleague, Dr. H.R. Storer, after four months of severe illness. [Did he write May 1872 Notes while severely ill?]  His disease, which seems to have been the culmination of many successive poisonings from operating and dissecting wounds, has been inflammation of the head of the left tibia, resulting in deep suppuration.  Trephining was resorted to; but the pus not being reached, subsequently borrowed through into the knee joint, and finally from thence into the soft parts of the femur, where it formed large sinuses.  He has had to submit to three distinct operations requiring anaesthesia, besides numerous minor ones, not to mention the pain attending the daily dressing, the discomfort arising form this summer's unusually severe heat, the weight of his professional duties continually forcing themselves upon his mind, and the prolonged confinement so tedious and irksome to one of such active habits.  It was our privilege to contribute somewhat to his comfort, and our sorrowful duty to witness much of his agonizing suffering.  We are able to attest to his patient submission and fortitude under those severe trials.  Dr. Storer is still confined to bed, and it will yet be many months before he will eventually have recovered the use of his limb.  Meanwhile he has the sympathy and best wishes of his numerous friends.  G.H.B. p. 80.

 

Authored 3. Female Hygiene: a Lecture, Phila., 1872, 8vo.  Allibone A critical dictionary supplement

 

Proceedings of the Society.  Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Aug., 1872, p. 103.

69th regular meeting, January 16, 1872.

      An autopsy had been made upon the following day.  The uterus was found to contain a foetus of some five or six weeks.  This was now also shown to the Society, the membranes being still unruptured.  These had been detached form the uterus at several points previous to the examination being made.  This had evidently been from the effect of the fatal measures that had been resorted to.  There could be no doubt that it had been performed by the woman herself. p. 83.

      The Secretary exhibited on behalf of Dr. Taliaferro, of Columbus, Ga., specimens of his new UTERINE CLOTH TENTS, and read the following letter:--" p. 85.

      Dr. Storer was glad that Dr. Field had discussed this important subject in so satisfactory a manner. He himself, from the very commencement of his practice in 1853, [!!! 5??] had been in the habit of using vaginal suppostitories, at first employing those suggested by Simpson under the name of "Medicated Pessaries."  These were made in part of tallow and wax, and he very early had found the advantage by employing the butter of cocoa. p. 93.

      Dr. Storer thought that no one who studied this subject could honestly doubt that absorption might thus, to a great extent, rapidly take place.  At a former meeting of the Society he had reported cases in point, and on bringing the matter before the Suffolk District Medical Society, many of its members had expressed their belief in the fact now alleged.  He had been informed that at a recent meeting of the Society, however, an attempt had been made to impugn its validity upon the ground that the rectum did not possess absorbents and that absorption could not therefore take place; and that a quotation had been read from Trousseau to the effect that said T. utterly disbelieved in rectal absorption.  Such being the case, it had truly been said, "so much the worse for Trousseau."  For his own part, he had so often kept patients along by nutrient enemata and in tolerably good condition, who were suffering from malignant and other disabling gastric diseases, who would have starved if left to the usual method of receiving their food, that he must still recommend to those who differed from them than sooner than let their patients die from inanition they had better be on the safe side and fall back upon the rectum, even though they suppose it to possess no absorbent. p. 94-5.

70th regular meeting, February 6, 1872.

      Dr. Storer read a letter form Dr. S. D. Mercer, of Omaha, Nebraska, relative to measure for

                     THE SUPPRESSION OF CRIMINAL ABORTION,

and announcing that one of the most notorious abortionists of that Territory had been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment.

      Dr. Storer commented upon the growing sentiment of the community that this crime must be suppressed.[! Which community?]  It was evident that efforts that a few earnest men had made in the face of doubt and ridicule were now producing their perfect work throughout the country.  The crime has been everywhere rampant in the Pacific just as in the more Eastern States.  While he was in California an instance had occurred in which there was employed a novel but very effective method of cure.  Its mention in the present connection would probably lead to its very general adoption.

      His advice was asked under the following circumstances: A married woman had obtained, there was evidence to show, the induction of abortion by a medical man, without the knowledge of her husband. Very dangerous symptoms ensued, and the husband was determined to bring his wife's attendant to such grief as would be likely to ensure his good behavior for the future.  TO prosecute him upon the criminal charge would probably have been useless, as in a notorious case in San Francisco, where a Dr.J. had been convicted and sent to the State Prison at San Quentin, he had immediately been pardoned by the Governor.  Under these circumstances, Dr. Storer's advice being asked by the lawyer who had been consulted in the case, he had suggested that to try the cause from its civil side as a suit for "loss of the wife's services," as the phrase is, might prove successful.  Measures were taken in this direction, and fifteen hundred dollars were immediately paid, Dr. Storer was informed, to stop the suit.  This was of course tantamount to a confession of guilt. p. 103-4.

      Dr. Storer stated that while in California he had taken measures to obtain for the Society information concerning the

GYNAECOLOGY OF THE PACIFIC COAST,

which presented for obvious reasons a great many interesting features, which were enhanced again by their relation to local climatic peculiarities.  He had received a great many letters in answer to his inquiries, which he would present to the Society from time to time.  He had met everywhere with the kindest interest in his investigations, with but one single exception, and this a physician in San Francisco, who, as might have been expected, had concealed his identity.  The following was his reply to Dr. Storer's inquiries.  It was now presented as one of the curiosities of medical literature.  The names given are of female unpleasantly notorious in the early history of San Francisco:--

      "For the most complete history, outline and otherwise of the department referred to, I beg to refer you to the Pioneer Observers of this coast.  During your stay apply to them, viz.: Madames Rose Cooper and Mary Robinson, Dupont street; Mary Blaine, at large; and Mary Holt, City Prison."

      The letters now given would be found of a different stamp.  The first ...  p. 110.

      ... Departing from the main subject of your letter, [which was?] I would say that the catamenia commence here early in life. p. 111.

 

Proceedings of the Society.  Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Sept., 1872, p. 163.

7ist regular meeting, February 20, 1872.

      Dr. Storer presented a communication from his father, Prof. D. Humphrey(sic) Storer, entitled

TWO FREQUENT CAUSES OF UTERINE DISEASE. [Prof. Storer's communication was published in this Journal for March, 1872.]

      Dr. H.R. Storer stated the circumstances under which his father's paper had been written (in 1855,) and those under which its publication had been suppressed.* [See this Journal, March, 1872.]  He [HRS] himself had always regretted that the "injudicious" counsel had been followed.  So far from the publication have been likely to have injured the interest of the Harvard Medical School, it was well known that the school had been very nearly ruined by just such a timid, vacillating no-policy, of whose fear of taking a manly stand, even upon purely scientific matters, the present was one among many proofs.  He regretted the long suppression of the paper all the more, in that the suggestions made therein by his father, though read only at the college commencement, had been seized upon with avidity by members of the profession, to whom much unwarranted credit had been given. [Find out who.] In his own publication upon the detrimental physical effects of abortion and incomplete intercourse[!  no mention of the moral problem?], he had repeatedly made mention of this fact. [What fact? DHS origin of idea, probably.]

      Dr. Blake expressed great satisfaction that the elder Dr. Storer's suppressed paper was at last to be given to the profession to whom it had rightfully belonged seventeen years before.  The subjects that it treated were of very great importance, adn Dr. Storer should have at least received the credit that rightfully belonged to him of having suggested new and very decided causes of serious uterine disease. p. 163-164.

      ... For several years he [HRS] had heard a good deal about local exercise as practised by the Taylors of New York, lifting cures, etc., etd., but he had been prejudiced against everything of the kind on common sense grounds, as he had supposed, and had never investigated the matter personally

until within the last four months.  Being anxious about the health of one of his own children, [which? what was wrong? dyspepsia?] he had visited incognito Mr. Butler of this city, who has been identified with the "lifting" method of treatment since its outset, and had carefully examined into the whole subject.  Finding to his surprise that it was not claimed to be a panacea, and that great care seemed to be taken to prevent over-straining or other injury, and receiving the independent favorable testimony of many dyspeptics and other invalids, male as well as female, who were in the habit of employing the method, he had himself been pretesting the method since 1st of October, by a daily lift, and was satisfied that it was well worthy the attention of intelligent medical men.  [what is a daily lift?] p. 167-8.

      Dr. Storer stated that not merely was the health-lift provocative of better rest at night, it seemed often to prevent nervous headaches, where that tendency existed, [in HRS?] and it was claimed that when such a headache was present it might be cut short by heavier lifting than usual.  He had made several experiments upon himself [yes] with reference to this, and was inclined to think the statement true.  The theory of the lift was that under its influence the circulation was equalized.  Congestions external and internal were, to a certain extent, supposed counteracted, and the activity of the capillaries increased.  When in the act of lifting, the spinal column being straightened as much as possible, the pelvis was forced upward, and the clavicles and scapulae proportionately made to descend with the effect it would seem of a crowding  together, however trivial, of the intevertebral substance, and a corresponding momentary compression, and therefore excitation of the spinal cord.

      Dr. Greeley had seen patients whom he considered to have been decidedly benefited by the lift.  It was an excellent method of getting a good deal of tonic exercise with a very little labor or fatigue. p. 169-70.

      Dr. Rooney reported a case of ATTEMPT TO PRODUCE CRIMINAL ABORTION BY SEA-TANGLE TENTS, to which he had lately been called.  The tent had been employed by a homoeopath who had thus eight times attempted to produce the abortion upon the patient, twice under ether, but without avail.  THe tent now exhibited Dr. R. had found in the cul-de-lac[!] of the vagina, it apparently not having entered the cervix-uteri.  The patient had subsequently visited Concord, N.H., there been operated upon, and had barely escaped with her life.  Dr. R. had been practice for many years, but had seen and known of more criminal abortions and attempts at criminal abortion since he removed to Boston a year since, than in all his life before. [Could some of Horatio's enemies have reacted to Horatio's opposition by providing abortiions?  Where was Rooney from?]

      Dr. Storer reminded the Society that through the American Medical Society (sic) had repeatedly urged upon the several States careful revision of the statutes concerning this crime* [*Transactions of the American Medical Association.] and though the Suffolk District Society had decided several years since that such ought to be done in Massachusetts,*[*Boston Medical and Surgical Journal.][incomplete footnoting no doubt because HRS is not editor] yet that a Committee, appointed by the Councillors of the State Society, of which Dr. Jacob Bigelow was chairman, had reported that the laws of the State were sufficient to prevent the crime, provided that they were properly enforced.  Experience both then and since had proved that it was impossible to enforce such a statute as at present worded.  He, Dr.S., had at the time denounced the Committee as incompetent and time-saving. [What is time-saving?]  The Gynaecological Society had since that time memorialized the Executive of the State with reference to the reluctance of its prosecuting officers to attempt trials for the crime, and the Governor had pointed to their valid excuse.  Dr. Storer thought that the time had at last come, so great a revolution was occurring in public sentiment, when steps for a betterment of the statutes might be taken with success.  The New York Medico-Legal Society for instance, had lately been acting with vigor and success.  He would therefore move the appointment of a committee to consider the propriety of a memorial from the Society to the Legislature.  He himself should decline serving upon it, as he feared he was considered by his friends a fanatic upon this subject,[!!!] but he would aid the committee by every means in his power.

      The motion was seconded by Dr. Hazelton, and Drs. Greeley, Hazelton and Bixby were appointed.  As apropos to the last subject under discussion the Secretary presented from Dr. J. M. Toner, of Washington, a series of diagrams illustrative of THE DECADENCE OF THE BIRTH-RATES IN AMERICA. [Is this why decadence got its connotation?]

      "They are the results," Dr. Toner states, "of a careful study of what the various reports of the United States census teach upon the momentous question of the decadence of the birth-rates in our country, and they also show at what age the male and female have been in "excess."

72nd regular meeting, March 5, 1872.

      The following donations ot the Library were announced: From Dr. O'Donnell, of Baltimore, the report of the committee of the American Medical Association, 1871, upon Criminal Abortion; ... p. 177.

      To meet the need for such inquiries, Dr. Storer had prepared the following list which seemed to him to comprise the instruments that should be deemed absolutely essential for the conduct of an ordinary gynaecological practice, though for the expert, drawing his cases for a wide extent of territory, additional instrument would of course be required for the treatment of exceptional cases.  He desired, however, the opinion of other members of the Society as to its completeness.

      DR STORER'S LIST OF "ESSENTIAL INSTRUMENTS."

 5 specula.

      3 sizes bivalve and retractor.

      1 size quadrivalve.

      1 of wood or horn for actual cautery.

 1 cauterizing iron.

 2 vaginal forceps.

      1 slender dressing.

      1 with ratchet and as curette.

 2 sponge holders, plain.

 3 caustinc holders, different sizes. (Byfords.)

 1 sound, Simpson's, plain.

 1 scarifier and punctuator. (Scott's.)

 1 applicator. (Warner's.)

 12 dilators, graduated -- German silver -- with handle in common.

 2 canulated, needles -- folding.

 2 ecraseurs.

      1 large with long curved chain

      1 smaller for stout wire.

 2 clamps for ovariotomy.

 1 clamp-shield. ( Storer's.)

 1 trocar, medium size, but long.

 1 pneumatic aspirator.

 1 wire twister.

 1 hollow sound.

 1 circular scissors, (Emmet's.)

 2 catheters.

      1 silver.

      1 gum elastic.

 12 tents, -- carbolized, sponge and sea-tangle, assorted sizes.

 1 case forliquids and powders.

      with six cut glass bottles.

      wire-annealed iron, silver plated.

      acupresure and other needles.

 1 colpeurynter for flooding, etc. (Braun's.)

      No mention is made of pessaries because, when needed at all, they can be selected, like medicinal agents, according to the requirement of the individual case. p. 182-3.

      The Secretary presented a communication from Dr. Henry A. Martin of Boston Highlands, upon MODERN MEDICAL SCEPTICISM.

      It was a thoughtful and exhaustive reply to an address to the Massachusetts Medical Society in 1865, by Dr. Benjamin E. Cotting of Boston, entitled "Disease--a part of the Plan of Creation."* [*Medical Communications of the Massachusetts Medical Society, 1865, p. 353.]

      Dr. Hazelton glanced briefly at the main point[s] that had been made by Dr. Cotting in the paper to which Dr. Martin's was a reply, and said that in  so far as he had thought of them, they seemed to be reasonable.

      Dr. Norris believed on the other hand that Dr. Cotting's argument was wholly of a specious and fallacious character.  Its logical conclusion was that inasmuch as diseases and death were intentional on the part of the Creator, the physician had no right to attempt to curtail the one or delay the other, and so far from condemning, it was therefore his duty to hail with satisfaction the frightful procedures of the present day for the destruction of human life. p. 184.

      Dr. Storer suggested that Dr. Cotting had evidently not appreciated the extent of the earth as compared with the comparatively trifling number of individuals of the human species, as yet existing even upon its most populous portions.  In reading Dr. Martin's reply he had been surprised and delighted at the thoroughly Christian position he had assumed when discussing some of Dr. Cotting's theological statements.

      Dr. Hazelton did not see how anyone could study physiology, and yet believe that death could have entered the world through human sin.  Death was the natural termination of life, created as man was, just like other animals he had a mouth, felt a desire to eat, and must do so, processes of waste as well as repair were established and eventually his physical system was worn out by simple use.

      Dr. Storer thought the whole matter might be summed up in a single word.  It had been a common saying that of every three physicians, two would be found unbelieving.  This was true only as concerned the truths of revelation, for with regard to natural religion it was with the physician as with the Astronomer, if undevout he was most likely demented.  It was instinctive for an educated man to subject all problems to the reason, to rest contented and secure, upon which has been called "blind" faith, thus seeing plainly and understanding fully what was inscrutable the substance indeed of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen, it required that a man should have experienced sore disappointment, bereavement, [Emily died a week and a half earlier.]long physical suffering, or been awoke to a sense of personal guilt and have felt in his very soul, the absolute necessity of what he would then, and only then, perceive to exist.  In this statement he was but expressing what to many was their own experience.  He had been permitted, in his own consciousness, to compare the two extremes of belief, and to him, that which so many but doubted or scoffed at, was now not a matter of possibility, but of clear personal knowledge.

      Dr. Norris said that this had been his own personal experience also.  The wisest men were after all but as children and to confess one's unaided helplessness and gratitude for the help that then came to us, was ot unworthy even the student of science.

      Dr. Hazelton would not seem to imply that he did not accept as true many things, religious as well as not so, which he could not understand.  There was much about us, on every side, that was mysterious and must ever remain so, we may argue about them as much as we choose and define them as we like, but they will remain just as inscrutable as before.

      Dr. Storer stated that in a late number of the Philadelphia Medical and Surgical Reporter, [February 17, 1872, p. 147.] its Editor, Dr. Stephen W. Butler in an interesting paper entitled "The Mission of Physical Science" had expressed the whole question in unexceptional language.  In view of the great reputation and influence of Rudolph Virchow, of Berlin, Dr. B. had felt called upon to allude to a late address by this gentleman, before the German Association of Naturalists and Physicians, at their annual meeting last autumn, at Rostock, being as it was "little else than a deliberate attack upon religion, and  not only on religion, but on all those ideas which under-lie any possible religion."  It is a special plea for absolute materialism in its grossest sense; it is an argumentative denial of all belief in soul or God; it is the gauntlet thrown down to all who hope or trust in faith.  The Mission of Physician Science, as Virchow takes it, is to wipe out all faith in God or spirit, and to erase from the mind of man all hope, trust or action, which depend on such ideas.

      Dr. Hazelton remarked that he had begun his professional life with very conservative ideas upon religious topics, but they had progressively been rendered lax, dating from a remark he had read in Dalton's or Draper's Physiology, that whatever eats, involving as this did, the destruction and wasting of tissue, must die, from material causes alone; and yet differing herein entirely from Virchow, he had no doubt that eventually the human spirit would exist for infinity, untrammelled by the physical body with which it is here mixed.  His own personal consciousness proved this to him -- purely animal as it were, when a foetus every year tended to make it less and less material, so that the final destruction of the body necessarily implied the liberation to a separate existence of man's soul.

      Dr. Norris was glad to hear such a discussion as this by medical men, and in a region too which many suppose the very centre of American materialism.  There had been many a subtle plea for infidelity which had emanated from Boston, made by none perhaps more persuasive sophistry than by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, in "Elsie Venner," and his other ventures in psychico-physiological speculation, he had tended to unsettle men's confidence in religion* in precisely the same way as had the more fresh and manly Virchow. [*Dr. Norris had apparently not see Dr. Homes' last manifesto upon the subject, published four days previously.  We quote from "The Poet at the Breakfast Table."

      "Do you accept Mr. Darwin's notions about the origin of the race?" said I.

      The master looked at me with that twinkle in his eye which means that he is going to parry a question.

      "Better stick to Blair's Chronology; that settles it.  Adam and Eve created Friday, October 28th, B.C. 4004.  You've been in a ship for a good while, and here comes Mr. Darwin on on deck with an armful of sticks, and says, 'Let's build a raft, and trust ourselves to that.'"

      "If you ship springs a leak what would you do?"

      He looked me straight in the eye for about half-a-minute, "If I heard the pumps going, I'd look and see whether they were gaining on the leak or not; if they were gaining, I'd stay were I was." -- Atlantic Monthly, March, 1872, p. 346.] p. 185-7.

 

Proceedings of the Society.  Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Oct., 1872, p. 241.

73rd. regular meeting, March 19, 1872.

      ... Dr. Bixby read a letter from Judge Gunning S. Bedford, of New York, acknowledging the vote of thanks of the Society, for the way in which he had charged his juries in late cases of Criminal Abortion.  Dr. Storer having stated that Judge Bedford was a son of an Honorary Member of the Society, the late Dr. Bedford of New York, it was moved and seconded, that the Judge be requested to send his own photograph, for preservation in the collection of the Society.  p. 242.

74th. regular meeting, April 2, 1872.

      ... Dr. S. was glad that Dr. Field, as professor of thereapeutics at Dartmouth, had been enabled to hear his department so plainly discussed.

      Dr. Martin thought that with the exception of a very few agents, the whole materia medica might be discarded.  He spoke in strong terms of the method of teaching still too often in vogue.  When he was a student at Harvard, Dr. Jacob Bigelow used to lecture on materia medica by simply reading from his own "Sequel," a volume which then used to sell for six or eight dollars, but which Dr. M. had lately seen bid off at auction for the large sum of three cents.  As an instance of thes precepts put in practice, Dr. Martin related a case in which he had met the same Dr. B. in consultation.  It was one of melaena, a large clot had passed, and the patient was already in collapse.  There were also present at the consultation, Dr. Fisher, of Edgartown, and the President of this Society, Dr. Winslow Lewis.  Dr. B. pronounced the case one of "black jaundice," that would end fatally in a day or two, and advised a grain of opium with half a grain of calomel every four hours, with a blister six inches by by ten over the liver, which was afterwards to be dressed with mercurial ointment, this being a free commentary upon Dr. B.'s theory of "Nature in Disease!"  Believing that the so-called disease of the liver was altogether imaginary, and that it was foolish to reduce a patient who was already bleeding to death, Dr. Martin, with the approval of Drs. Fisher and Lewis, gave only iron and beef tea, and the patient recovered.  Had the other advice been followed, the patient would have been professionally murdered. p. 255-6.

      Drs H. R. Storer and Bixby were appointed delegates to the meeting of the American Medical Association, at Philadelphia. p. 261.

 

Editorial Note.[singular] Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Oct, 1872, p. unknown.

      Our friend and colleague, Dr. H. R. Storer, sailed with his family for Europe on the 5th inst.  We are glad to announce their safe arrival out, after a short passage.  Recent letters report his having borne the fatigues of the voyage tolerably well, and as being as well as could be expected under the circumstances.  Dr. Storer will spend the autumn in Germany, and the winter in Italy.  We hope the genial climate of the Mediterranean coast will do much toward restoring his health.   G.H.B.

 

Proceedings of the Society, Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston, Nov. & Dec., 1872, p. 321-347.

75th. regular meeting, April 16, 1872.

      The seventy-fifth regular meeting of the Society was held on April 16th, at Hotel Pelham.  Present, Drs. Blake, Dow, Hazelton, Martin, Warner, and Weston; and Dr. Ross of Hudson, Mass., Corresponding Member, and by invitation, Dr. Redford.

76th. regular meeting, May 7, 1872. [Reported by George Holmes Bixby, Secretary pro tem.]

      ... Dr. Bixby said that he had been delegated by Dr. H. R. Storer to state that owing to a painful illness, which had already confined him to his bed for more than four weeks [c. April 9  HRS at April 2nd meeting.], and bids fair to do so much longer, he is compelled to tender his resignation as Secretary.  Upon the motion of Dr. Wheeler, seconded by Dr. Weston, Dr. Storer's resignation was temporarily accepted, and Dr. Bixby was chosen Secretary, pro tem.

      The Secretary read the following letter from Dr. Blake, an active member:--

            [May 7, 1872]

Editors ...

      Gentlemen,--In the April number of our Journal, page 250, paragraph four, I am reported as replying to Dr. Warner, as follows: "Dr. Blake replied that he would never give chloroform in any event whatever.  Gentlemen in this city had pronounced it an improper agent; and this being the case, he did not think he would employ it, even to save the life of a patient."  I wish to have the above corrected in justice to myself, never having made use of the language attributed to me.  What I did say was, that I should always give the preference to ether where it was in my power to exercise it, chloroform having repeatedly proved to be a dangerous agent, not only in this, but every other city and country where it has been used.  As for the last sentence, I should be very sorry to be considered so careless of the lives of my patients as to refuse to assume the additional risk attending the administration of chloroform in order to save them.  p. 324-5.

77th. regular meeting, June 4, 1872. [Reported by George Holmes Bixby, Secretary pro tem.]

78th. regular meeting, October 8, 1872. [Reported by George Holmes Bixby, Secretary pro tem.]

            Dr. Warner desired to call the attention of the Society to the action taken at a recent meeting in regard to the accpetance of Dr. Storer's resignation as Secretary.  If he understood the proceedings of that meeting correctly, his resignation was accepted, and a successor appointed, which under the circumstances, was lacking in courtesy.

      Dr. Bixby replied that Dr. Storer placed his resignation in his hands with instructions to present it to the Society.  He did so, and upon motion of Dr. Wheeler it was accepted; and under the same motion a successor was appointed.  For his part, he supposed that the appointment of the successor was but temporary, as it had been done repeatedly during the Secretary's absence and illness.  It was his impression that Dr. Wheeler so understood it.

      Dr Warner thought that if the report, as it now stands, implied what Dr. Bixby stated, then there must have been some changes made in it.  Dr. Bixby defended the members present at that meeting from the accusation of discourtesy toward one to whom they were all so much indebted.  He desired to have it distinctly understood that it never has been, and never will be, his ambition to assume honors which are not rightfully his own.  In regard to changing the report, he would state that at the first reading, it was from rough notes.  When prepared for the printer, in whose hands it was at present, he had condensed, but not changed, one iota of the original sense.

      Dr. Warner stated that he received documents signed simply "Secretary."

      Dr. Bixby reminded Dr. Warner that the notifications were printed; an in his case, as in that of the other gentlemen to whom he had sent the notices, he had, from inadvertency, omitted to add the word "pro tem."

      The President wanted to know how the Secretary pro tem. had been elected.  Dr. Bixby stated by nomination.

      Dr. Warner stated that the election of a Secretary, according to the Constitution of the Society, could not take place except at an annual meeting.

      Dr. Bixby stated that the Society were well aware of that fact when they voted for a Secretary pro tem.

      Dr. Perkins thought that the report had better stand as originally made. p. 338-339.

 

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